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Interview with Esther Hörchner


In 2009 Esther Hörchner graduated from Artez Institute of The Arts in Zwolle, The Netherlands studying illustration. After her graduation she founded design Studio 'Paradise' together with Els ten Klooster en Maaike Burgers.

Esther's works are detailed line drawings with 'a wink', the 'Bathing Girls Tea Set' features girls swimming and relaxing in tea cups with their underwear casually discarded on the saucers and tea spoons. You can 'dress' the bathing girls with the clothing on the tea spoons. The tea cups and Take A Bath tea pot are handmade by artisans in 9 days.

I choose to interview Esther as I find her designs beautiful, clever and extremely witty, 'dressing' the girls by placing the spoon in the tea cups will provide your guests with endless fun.


What is your approach to design?
I think good design makes you smile; you have to be touched by either its refinement or a little twist.

What was the inspiration for the tea cups and tea pot?
I collect all sorts of porcelain cups, plates and vases and I had the desire to once make my own Tea Set. I wanted to use the shape of the cups as something to underline the feeling of enjoyment of hot tea; in this case the cups became small hot tubs for the bathing girls.

Who are the ladies on the cups?
I used myself as a model for the naked girls, but I adjusted them a bit ;-)

What has been the response so far?
I've received a lot of positive and enthusiastic response from people all over the world. There are a lot of blogs written about my Tea Set.

What other designs are you planning for the future?
We're busy designing a porcelain breakfast set, new postcards, jewellery and leather wallets, so you can expect new designs from us in the near future! (www.hetparadijs.net)

Who would you like to see drinking out of the cups?
...I wouldn't know...

Who is your favourite Dutch designer and who would you like to work with?
My favourite Dutch designer is Lenneke Wispelwey; I love her facet shaped cups and vases and her use of pastel colours.
I would love to work with her some time... I would also like to work with the 'Tilburgs Textielmuseum', I'd love to have my own drawings woven.

Our customers have asked for cereal bowls with the same illustration, any chance of this being produced in the near future?
Actually, there is a 'Take a Bath' bowl set available, with porcelain Asian spoons. We now stock the 'Take A Bath Bowl Set'.

What is your favourite design you have created and why?
I'm most proud of my Take a Bath Tea Set, because it appeared at many international design blogs.

What is your favourite tea and biscuit?
My favourite tea is 'lady earl green', it's a sweet citrus like tea, it also has a beautiful transparency in my Take a Bath cups.
My favourite biscuit is a typical Dutch 'Fries duimpje' (translation: Friesian Little Thumb), it's an aniseed biscuit, I like it especially when I make them myself.