Do you know this feeling: You look at something and you like it immediately. It is different to describe but it’s a deep feeling inside… like as if you were connected to it. And then you like to own every piece of it. That’s the feeling I feel by every piece which was made by the Design Atelier Gonchar since I discovered them three years ago. When they invited me to their studio – I immediately said YES! And of course: I was overwhelmed by the beauty and creativity I saw in their studio.
The most important Information first: every single piece is handmade in the studio of Sofia and Dimitri. The products are NOT produced in a factory somewhere or made and print through a machine. NO! Each one is cast, polished, fired, painted and finally packaged and shipped by themselves in St.Gallen! And this is absolutely incredible but true. Imagine – they spend really a lot of time in their products with great attention & love to detail! And it is still only a hobby – something that they are doing in their free time.
Sofia and Dimitri are a really good team and complement each other perfectly. Each one has his own interests and know-how. First Sofia draws one of her thousands ideas on a piece of paper. Then Dimitri converts it on the computer in a 3D Form and print a 3D pattern of it. After this they create a plaster mold and then the realisation can beginn. They told me that once they printed a 3D piece which took 3 days print!
«Something made of the hand is so special, it inherently adds soul and dimension within a space.»
Sofia started 4 years ago to develop different series for regular kitchen use and beautiful jewelry. The pieces are tested and tried in various environments (or example, in the dishwasher). Sofia is working three or four days a week at Lavka and the other days for Gonchar which allow only limited time to fill orders. Sofia is willing to work on «slow orders», which means that she can take limited orders and it may take a while for it to be completed. She is still testing and making sure that by the time a new product is ready to be launched, that she can guarantee full satisfaction and that she can present you with the right pieces. The newest product is a drinking vessels – you can buy one here. For me these vessels aren’t only beautiful with a simple and minimalist design – no they also embody a deeper story about craftsmanship and creativity.
«There is beauty in imperfection and having items that are really handmade.»
Where can you buy it?
Her translucent porcelain pieces are regional renown and available for purchase from her studio showroom, exhibitions and shows, but also conveniently from her website.
Lavka, St.Gallen | Die Macherei, Zürich | Modewerk, Liestal
But it is not only a ceramic studio, it is also a teaching space. Sofia gives ceramic workshops. If you’d like to learn more about how a porcelain product from Gonchar is made from idea to final design you can attend a workshop by Sofia and ask her directly.