Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. One of it’s most recognized landmarks is the White Tower. Build by the Ottomans in the 15th century (with Mimar Sinan as the speculated architect) to enhance the fortification of the city. Currently, it serves as a monument, a museum, and a public meeting spot. After a conversation with my creative Thessalonikian aunt and her suggestion, I started exploring potential ideas to transform the essence of the tower into a contemporary tourist souvenir.
The shape naturally led to the creation of various pencil case concepts. Initially overly representative but slowly leaning more towards abstraction. In the end, the soul of the tower was merged with the waves of the nearby sea into a more poetic abstraction. For the first batch, I decided to try the slip casting process using porcelain. In retrospect, porcelain proved to be a challenging material but after a lot of trial and error and a pile of cracked prototypes, I had the first towers, baked and shiny. Plenty of things to improve for the second version and I am happy to experiment more with the process.
♖ You can find them in♖
Initial directions in various materials
The final concept is right there in that rough sketch, making it a reality was another story
Slip casting requires the creation of plaster moulds, which need delicate care and tender touch when they are not dry
Getting some successful moulds, using aluminum cans and plastic jars for the desired shapes
Letting the plaster settle and dry
Quality inspector was not pleased, especially with the lack of treats
With a few finished moulds and a fresh mix of porcelain slip it is time to finally try some slip casting
Batch towers (2-pieces) as they come of the moulds
Post processing, cutting the wavy fortification and windows
Batch production of home-made Penciltowers
The first run of Penciltowers waiting to be baked in high heat (1200C). Unfortunately half cracked in the process, porcelain is hard to please
Penciltowers, baked, dressed and posing like superstars
A sense of volume, a sense of scale