BEETLE & FLOR
The Annual Designers Christmas market at DogA (The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture) in Oslo has given us much inspiration over the years, in addition to meeting new friends while shopping for our annual handmade Christmas presents.
A few years ago we came across some fantastic porcelain jaw-bone necklaces; Designed in an abandoned candle factory in Brooklyn, beautiful and fascinating grotesque figures of porcelain, clay and stoneware had found their way to Norway. Christine Facella, the designer and founder of Beetle & Flor is actually raised here, but left Norway for New York more then fifteen years ago. In a recent trip to New York I asked if I could visit Christine, and in spite of a constipated cat and busy with orders, I was warmly received and we spent an enjoyable day together in her workshop on Ash street in Greenpoint.
Various skulls in porcelain welcomed me into her space, reminding me of our shared inevitable fait. Most of the skulls have been granted a little touch of gold as if to be given a last honor, and have become something of a trademark for Beetle & Flor.
We contemplated the uncertainty about choosing a different path in life, not knowing what kind of income you can expect, and also the conflict you feel when the products you are most passionate about are not necessarily what customers want. We also discussed the wonderful sense of freedom it gives of being your own boss, and the satisfaction of working with something you find really meaningful.
Besides the skulls, Christine makes other ceramic items; vessels and vases for plants, ceramic sandwich containers and small sculptures, but has also gotten involved working with small NGO’s; for the past two years she’s been working on a project with WORK + SHELTER in India, a project based on sustainability and economic opportunity specifically for women, a story which we’ll definitely follow up on.
To see more of Christine’s stuff and the story behind her work, check out her website here: www.beetleandflor.com