Moon Bowls

Ceramist Ilona van den Bergh went Professional after Burnout and Encouragement

‘If all elements are in the right place, and I follow my flow, creations, like
MOON, grow from my hands,’ Belgium-based ceramist, Ilona van den Bergh, told us. ‘I don’t search or think about it. I do feel and let it happen, and I try to keep looking at things in a new and fresh way.’

Ilona’s Moon bowls are designed as imperfect circles, each moulded in identical fashions, as the beauty of repetition is central to these products. ‘For example, a petal is very beautiful, the colour, the form, true perfection,’ she told us, ‘but it is the many identical pedal, which form the flower.’

Ilona kindly told us more:

The Plus: How did you make the transition from graduate to professional?
Ilona van den Bergh:
My career as a professional has actually only just started. In 2000, I graduated as a ceramist on the IKA, Belgium. But it’s been only a few years I started doing it again. It started as a hobby, but when I noticed that many people appreciated my designs, I decided to go for it. This was necessary as well; I was about to get burnout. Since then, I decided to follow my heart and my gut instinct.

TP: What did you experience as the most challenging part of the process?
My biggest challenge is to be my real core, in that flow. That is why I prefer to work with moulds. It lets me work very repetitive, and to create an installation, in which every part stand on its own, but also contributes to the whole.

TP: What tip would you give to design students?
Follow your gut instinct, do whatever your heart tells you to do and whatever makes you unique, but don’t forget to think as well. It’s not the case that only the creating process and the creation counts; there is also a business aspect. Make sure your story is complete and authentic. Focus on the details (‘because the details are not the details, they make the design’ -Eames). And be patient.

Illona’s other collections, PING, KOMMA and ONA, also play with sleek lines, pure and plain colours, and shapes inspired by nature: