There are tonnes of quirky and fun accessories out there for the home – we covered just some of them, for the kitchen, in a piece not too long ago on homify. Everybody (or nearly everybody) loves a bit of quirky fun, but this week we're going to focus on objects that, while offbeat, are also quite beautiful. Often handmade, with love and attention, these pieces display craftsmanship and in some cases real, serious artistry. They're twists on familiar objects, making things that we take for granted a little strange and unfamiliar again. Some challenge us to rethink these objects, and to look at them afresh; others surprise us with a jolt of oddness; while others again make us appreciate that 'handcrafts' can be impeccably constructed and finished. It's a mixed bag, but what they all have in common is a delightful oddness as well as a certain beauty.
This Rosa clock by Nwitkiewicz is a simple piece made strange by the use of twigs for the clock hands. The second hand has a magnificent sweep and its extending as it does beyond the clock face means that, despite the gentle, pastel colour of that face, this is a decidedly offbeat object.
French designer La Tête dans la Bocal ('the head in the jar') paints hardened plastic animal figurines (dinosaurs, rhinos, penguins) with neon paint and places them in jars to which are attached light fittings in the lid. The resulting objects are gloriously strange, but very pretty and striking. This is a playful oddness that doesn't frighten or push away the viewer, and invites us to see again these everyday plastic figures – familiar in every playroom – as decorative objects that have their own strange beauty.
Based on Korean ceramic vase shaps, Knit China by Atelier Junne is a series of knitted 'covers' for glass or ceramic vases. Placed over a plain, cylindrical glass or beaker, the covers will create new shapes and forms, bulging out at the lip or the base to create a 'vase' out of nothing more than wool and ingenuity.
These Geist ('ghost) tea-light holders from Material+Keramik are made from ultra fine porcelain by hand. The fineness of the porcelain creates a semi-translucence in the object, allowing partial light to shine through it, giving it a ghostly effect. As each piece is worked by hand, each one is slightly different. Slightly eerie, but entirely beautiful.
The Wrinkles collection from Bart van Didden was created for his Masters graduation project. In it, he combines his passion for ceramic vases and nature, using different wrinkly vegetables and flower structures and pouring them into a new porcelain jacket. The project was inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi, which shows the beauty of everyday objects complete with small imperfections, and the impermanence and transience of nature. In Wrinkles, the true identity – imperfections and all – of natural, living objects are laid down permanently in pure, white simplicity.
These giraffe tea-light holders are examples of the traditional craftwork from the town of Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka state, India. The craftwork is typified by ivory-wood toys and objects carved and lathed by hand and finished with a high gloss laquer. The craftwork of the town is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization. Natural organic dyes are used to colour the objects, making them child safe. These tea-light holders are a perfect example of the quirkiness often associated with handcrafts, but with an impeccable and high-quality finish that elevates them.
The Manifold Clock aims to make us think about time anew – as something ever changing but that yet always remains the same. The clock’s two hands are connected by a piece of flexible sheeting which flows in three dimensions as time marches on. As all things change as time passes, so the clock's shape changes with each passing minute.
Creative duo Jacky van Dessel and Brigitte Joosten, in their shared studio in Eindhoven, produce artworks from familiar objects made strange. They take products related to tradition and memory and translate them into modern and unique forms. In this example, in a twist on the Dutch tradition of a plate or tile on the living room wall inscribed with a wise saying or phrase, Van Dessel & Joosten have created their own interpretation in the form of a wall relief whose poetic text creates a woozy wave effect. Next to it in this picture is the sculpture The Sunday Cup – a wonderfully odd agglomeration of traditional tea-cups.