Drawn From Clay
Increasingly, consumers like to know the source of the things they buy and products are often sold with information that goes beyond mere "Made in the USA" labels to tell the story of the item's origins. The Dutch ceramics company Atelier NL has taken this concept to its most pared down conclusion, designing a line of ceramics made from clay collected on farms around the Netherlands and stamped with a geo-ID tag.
The line is called Polderceramics—a "polder" being a low-lying tract of land—and it contains earthen material drawn from farms in a 175-square-mile area in the Noordoostpolder region of the Netherlands. According to the designers, the area holds an important place in Dutch history as a key piece of land reclaimed during the 20th century to improve the country's flood protection and increase arable land. The designers moved to Noordoostpolder during the development of their concept in order to better know the source on which they were basing the project.
The resulting pieces, which include bowls, pitchers, cups and carafes, each feature a mark denoting which farm the clay was taken from. As designer Lonny Van Ryswyck puts it, "We wanted to make tableware so that the vegetables prepared for dinner could be served from vessels made from the same soil the vegetables came out of."