Designs of a Revolutionary Landscape, khashkhash

KhashBerlinPottery

By and large, some of the richest cultural histories are those shrouded in turmoil and grief. Rogue states, revolutions and protestors are persistent characters in these narratives – and the silent, covert influences from the West sadly, are too. Interestingly, yet not surprisingly, we have decided which revolutions are worthy of history book reprints, and which ones aren’t. The Iranian Revolution of the 1970s seems to stick out for some, others not so much.

War, civil disobedience, protests and famine make news headlines – rich cultural histories (prior even to the West’s existence) do not. Undeveloped? Antiquated? Think again. Persia has a cultural history with as many highs and lows as the Iranian Highlands – and one rooted in craft, agriculture, survival and elegance. Luckily for the design world, the dispersion of Persians has granted an insider view to the craftsmanship and diversity of the region, even right here in Berlin.

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Khash, founded in 2015, seeks to provide a direct link between Tehran and Berlin. By collecting individual pieces and products in the Iranian Highlands, produced by small workshops and manufacturers, Khash offers a different view of modern earthenware. Many of these local workshops are still using antiquated method of molding, shaping and firing – this provides a raw, organic aesthetic amidst the endless black hole of sleek, glazed hyper-whimsical pottery found in most boutiques.

Despite these methods of craftsmanship, the Iranian landscape itself is what provides most of the differentiation and uniqueness to each individual piece. The valleys of Iran produce finer-textured soil with many alluvial deposits, whereas the alkaline-ridden plateaus show a chestnut, if not mahogany coloration during long, slow sunsets. Adding a contrast, the highlands add a perfect mixture of saline and light-colored sand, filled with loose quartz and various other minerals. Upon completion, the finalized product represents the assorted gradients of the earth, fire and human handwork – true minimalism, a concept which has been skewed and misinterpreted for far too long.