In this project, Jana decided to conserve the coffee grounds in everyday objects. The process of casting coffee with the binding agent starts with drying and fine sifting of the used aromatic grounds, which she calls the most enjoyable part of the process. It facilitates unusual sensory experience through a series of objects, all useful in the coffee-drinking ritual, and all commonly increasing concentration and awakening creativity and playfulness.
“I created the zen gardens with a relaxation effect – similar to the coffee drinking itself.”
Jana has been fascinated by the worldwide popularity of coffee culture for its taste, aroma, and stimulating effects. She underlines that the ritual of drinking coffee is about life stories; it can be an individual experience, but it also can serve as a reason for meeting. It can start a conversation with strangers, but it is also an excuse to take a break. Perhaps no drink has associated as many cultural customs and different rituals as coffee.
The Coffee Zen Gardens connect the western and eastern cultures. They offer visual, tactile, and aromatic experiences. To create the Gardens, the artist works with air-dried used coffee grounds pressed with PVA binding, maple wood (in 2. edition cups are made from porcelain), and rice straw, as well as additives, such as paper and plant roots (e.g. thyme). She uses coffee in liquid, loose, and firm states.
Jana has experimented with many natural binding materials (mineral, plant, animal-based). She was looking for the ideal quality of a firm board: sturdiness, durability, and retaining the coffee aroma. In the end, she settled for an ecological version of commonly used inorganic PVA glue, which is non-toxic and decomposable. The material has been fully handmade, without the need for special machines or forms. Only in the finishing of a few specific object Jana used some traditional carpentry techniques like turning, cutting, and grinding.
The objects’ morphology of the coffee and wood combination reminds of recycling, sustainability, traditional craft, and promotes personal development.
About Jana Potiron:
She is a designer who experiments with minimalist forms and seeks mutual overlaps of design and art in practical as well as theoretical level. Her portfolio includes works ranging from furniture elements, influenced by emotions, to site-specific installations in public or private spaces. She designs with respect for the function of the objects, but primarily works with associations, expressiveness, and human interaction with the material world. Since 2017 she is the head of studio Furniture and Interior design on Faculty of art in Pilsen.
Her profile: furniture and interior, site specific installations; theoretical focus – psychology in design, material psychology.
Contemporary Lynx is a proud media partner of Łódź Design Festival 2021. We have been publishing a series of articles on innovative and talented designers who have been finalists of the make me! 2021 – an international design contest for young designers at the Łódź Design Festival.