Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, Mateus, the purveyor of soulful, hand-crafted, ceramic tableware, presents “Mateus meets Sam Baron meets Yatzer”, a new ceramic collection designed in collaboration with French award-winning designer Sam Baron and our own Costas Voyatzis, Greek creative director and Yatzer's founder. The collection is a testament to Mateus’ passion for one of the world’s oldest art forms as well as the brand’s history of creative collaborations with talented international artists and designers.
Mateus was founded in 1993 by Teresa Mateus Lundahl out of desire to make the dining table a more exuberant, colourful and stimulating place to gather around. To achieve this, Teresa turned to her native and adopted countries for inspiration. Born and raised in Portugal, she followed her husband to Sweden to start a family, where her entrepreneurial spirit, combined with a keen eye for fashion, resulted in a marriage of Swedish design and traditional Portuguese craftsmanship that has been creatively reinventing tableware ever since.
The new collection, which took more than a year and a half to complete and involved a lot of travelling back and forth between Lisbon, Stockholm and Athens, celebrates Mateus’ multifaceted and diverse output by going back to basics. Conceived as a tribute to the company’s origins, as well as an homage to pottery, one of humanity’s earliest artistic ventures, the collection’s clean lines and stylistically pure design language draws from both the pre-historic and the modernist principles of form follows function to create a line of timeless, elemental objects.
Exclusively manufactured from Portuguese clay in Mateus’ workshop in central Portugal, the collection consists of four basic forms – a plate, a bowl, a vase and a cup – in different sizes and colours that are based on a muted palette of earthy tones found in nature, from sand to rocks to stones. Unglazed in texture, their ascetic sensibility purposefully eschews Mateus’ stylistic hallmark of vibrant colours and decorative patterns because, as Costas Voyatzis explains, “we wanted the new collection to embody Mateus’ soul rather than its looks”.
Meticulously hand-crafted and hand-painted, which means that each piece is like no other, the collection’s primordial aesthetic references the earliest method of shaping pottery by hand but also alludes to Teresa’s first ever design for Mateus, a large yellow plate decorated with archaic spirals that harks back to humankind’s first, prehistoric decorative endeavours. This inaugural design is also the inspiration behind the hand-drawn spiral in the collection's logo.
“The starting point for all of our collections”, Teresa says, “is that they can all be mixed and matched”, so the new collection’s basic forms and neutral tones are a perfect fit for Mateus’ stylized aesthetic of vivid colours and rich decorations. But more than that, as a tangible distillation of the company's design ethos, it also functions as a base for past and future products.
Underpinned by the diverse backgrounds of Paris and Lisbon-based Sam Baron and Athens-based Costas Voyatzis, as well as the brand’s Southern and Northern European roots, “Mateus meets Sam Baron meets Yatzer” is truly a product of multicultural inspirations and universal aspirations.
The collection will be available worldwide at the end of August 2018.