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Kaneko set up her design studio in 2007 in London's East End. Here, Kaneko fine-tunes her delicate designs of ceramic and English bone china. Most of her work is manufactured at a small factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England. This town is renowned as the home of pottery in England (it's often called "The Potteries"), so many of the factories here use traditional, artisan methods.
Kaneko drips, drops, marks and stains decorative details with her Drip Tease series.
Q: How did you get started in product design? Why ceramics?
A: I have always loved sculptures, and just naturally solved briefs in a three-dimensional way when I started college, so it happened pretty organically. I started in ceramics because there was still a good hub of industry in Stoke-on-Trent, and I was able to start small with productions. If it wasn't for the smaller factories, I could never have gone into ceramics.
These clever sake/shot glasses were designed to embrace the shape of your fingers while they're being held. The grip feels much more natural, and adds a touch of quirky charm.
Q: How has your work evolved since you started? How do you see it evolving?
A: When I first started, I was interested in humor, visual puns and how the designer communicates with the viewer in that way. I still look into these themes in my giftware ranges, but I'm also interested in the subtler forms in the dining ranges I'm working on. The future is certainly a challenge. I'm looking forward to learning and exploring more.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — why not have fun with it? Kaneko's childlike "Breakfast Express" consists of three bone china carriages, linked together with hidden magnets. Choose from an eggcup, toast rack, or salt and pepper cellar.
Q: What are some of your favorite new design trends?
A: I'm obsessed with beautiful objects and subtler forms at the moment.
Q: What are some of your own favorite products?
A: I like the simpleness of The Boat and the Arctic ranges, but the Breakfast Express still makes me laugh.
Kaneko designed these soft and elegant Petal dishes for all of the sauces and side dishes that come with Asian cuisine. Turn them around in almost any direction to create an infinite number of tessellations.
Q: What designers, past and present, inspire you?
A: I'm really interested in Video art at the moment. I find it mesmerizing and beautiful. Doug Foster's works are incredible as well as some unknown Youtube hits, like this.
Reiko Kaneko studied at Central St. Martin's college in England. Although she was born in Britain, Kaneko spent most of her childhood in Japan. Many of her pieces are a combination of more traditional British tableware and serveware, with a distinctly Japanese look and function.