... Thomas Wenzel. The chief designer at KPM Berlin loves sustainable solutions. No frills, functional and simply beautiful. An article from WEISS Magazine No. 5.

Everyone is the architect of his own happiness - and Thomas Wenzel is the architect of his homeliness. Much of his home was designed and constructed by himself: “I always try to implement something according to my ideas as best as possible.” He likes to give beautiful materials that are too good to throw away a new life. His kitchen cupboard, for example, used to serve as a laboratory cupboard in the KPM Berlin, which was still painted completely black at the time. Newly refreshed, the antique piece now houses Wenzel's collection of various KPM parts. “I am a big fan of laboratory porcelain. Both the technical aspect and the clear, reduced form have always fascinated me.”

KPM Berlin manufactured these practical porcelain vessels until 1993. Wenzel began collecting the pieces early on, finding them everywhere, including at the flea market. Creating something with added value out of them kept the 57-year-old busy for a long time. His LAB collection was ultimately created.

The set table: The task of good design is to make everyday use of it easier and, in the best case, to enrich our everyday lives.

The objects impress with their timeless design and extraordinary feel. The lower half of the outside of the vessel does not contain any porcelain glaze, creating a harmonious interplay of textures of smooth glaze and matt bisque porcelain. It is also combined with other materials such as wood, steel and glass. What was new was not only the mix of materials, but also the young target group. “A little bit away from the set table and into the application” that was the goal. Because: “The kitchen has become a central place. As a result, we designed porcelain items that the manufactory did not have in its portfolio before, such as salt and pepper mills or mortars.”

The LAB collection

In addition, the trend today is towards variety and favorite pieces are combined with each other at the table. By the way, also with the Wenzels: “I use plates from the URANIA collection . They are nice and neutral and offer a good surface area. The delicate and light design of URBINO also looks good on the table, especially for tea and coffee." But Wenzel's favorite remains a piece from his newly designed line: "I love the tall LAB mug 2H . I don't want to drink from anything else.” The cup can be used for water as well as long drinks or cocktails. And it's not like it used to be, where they only served desserts in dessert bowls. “In the family we basically eat everything from the smaller LAB serving bowls : salad, casserole, spaghetti Bolognese. Just a steak, that’s still on the plate,” says Wenzel.

Everywhere you look, you discover KPM pieces - artfully displayed: for example, historical KPM laboratory dishes on a turntable. Cuba the dog also seems to like it.

Text: Marlene Irausek

Images: Franz Grünewald