The new life of TerraCotta

In keeping with this Mother Nature themed edition, and by asking Normal Studio to conceive an everyday object in terracotta, Designerbox decided to pay homage to this natural material and the craftsmanship associated with it.


Normal Studio chose a simple, functional shape to emphasise the raw texture of the terracotta, enhanced by a motif ‘borrowed’ from natural wood grains (see below). With this very compact basket – easy to find a space for on your table – Normal Studio has produced a timeless, humble and yet magnificent object.

The basket is dishwasher-proof.


Discover Mother Nature BOX by Normal Studio

Used since ancient times, raw, natural clay and its benefits have been rediscovered by Normal Studio and several other designers over the last few years. Fully malleable and easy to source, it’s been given a new nobility through their creations. Such designers are often also motivated by the desire to return to basics after decades of ‘plastic design’. A response to a clear need for more responsible products, this new enthusiasm for terracotta also fulfils the trend for cosy, warm interiors.


When matched with subtle pink and light woods, or placed in contrast with black or blue, terracotta is a lasting addition to our homes at the same time as bringing a feeling of authenticity. Clay is normally moulded or thrown, but Normal Studio favoured pressed terracotta when it came to the fruit basket – in doing so letting the beauty of red clay stand out while using an imprint technique.



Rather than taking as their point of departure a motif created by hand, the creators preferred to leave it to nature: A solid-wood casting mould was made in the right shape then sanded to bring out the wood grain. Then terracotta that is applied to it takes on all its details in the manner of a trompe l’oeil (which comes from the natural wood grain). This is an original way of reminding us that nature is an inexhaustible source of wealth that we need to preserve.


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