“The title, ‘One by One’ refers both to us as individuals: two designers working with different approaches whose ideas always seem to unite; and to the fact that no matter how many projects we have underway, each project is considered and developed one by one. Each project starts in its own unique way. Sometimes, it’s a quick line drawing in a sketchbook, usually when navigating the direction of a project; at other times a more refined watercolor or collage when resolving the form of an object."1
The exhibition focuses on a group of ceramics. This new body of work has its roots in experimentation. As Barber and Osgerby were testing clays and glazes a couple of years ago, while developing a collection of tableware, they were struck by the imprecision of the process. Clay reacts unpredictably, particularly when fused with glazes. As much of their work as industrial designers is concerned with control and perfection in manufacture, there is rarely any space for serendipity. This way of working, on the contrary, is erratic, fast, expressive and exciting, the antithesis of, and antidote to, their day-to-day, exacting design practice. These tiles were produced by pouring a liquid slip over the clay in a single motion with a great economy of means. Only natural colors were used: a black or a terracotta bodied clay, with a palette of black, white and terracotta clay slips, to create ceramics with an intense natural quality.
As a counterpoint to the ceramics, a series of pencil drawings feature elements of Barber and Osgerby's design work. In isolation, these elevational drawings take on a new abstract quality as they capture the essence of the objects they contributed to shape.