Ambiente Gallery
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A taste for the unconventional

At Ambiente, touted as the world’s largest consumer goods trade show, thousands of home furnishings designers and manufacturers unveiled their latest offerings in Frankfurt, Germany. The show is perhaps best known for its tabletop goods, and this year the tradition-bound companies in that field tried to break new ground and appeal to younger consumers with a taste for the unconventional. Lladró, for example, called upon designer Bodo Sperlein to breathe new life into the company’s old looks. This pedestal bowl is part of Sperlein’s Ascot collection, which is based on a horse figurine the designer found in the Lladró factory. (Lladró)
Sperlein isolated one leg and hoof and used it as a handle for a teacup, shown here, as well as a teapot and some bowls. He linked two legs to form a squarish napkin ring. (Lladro)
The overall effect of Sperlein’s collection: a modern sensibility that’s a departure for Lladró. (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
Royal Copenhagen, founded in 1775 to serve the queen of Denmark, introduced Elements, its first new tableware set of the 21st century. (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
A chandelier made to promote the new line included broken pieces of the new Elements plates, on which Royal Copenhagen’s traditional chrysanthemums were sprinkled helter-skelter. Danish designer Louise Campbell also departed from the company’s classic blue on white, calling on tangerine, turquoise and black. “It’s evolutionary, a reinvention within our cultural heritage,” said spokeswoman Fikriye Selen-Okatan. “It’s more modern, more casual, younger.” (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
Design sensation Patricia Urquiola brought a sense of spontaneity to her Landscape collection for Rosenthal. Seven three-dimensional patterns are employed in different ways: sometimes asymmetrically, sometimes covering the entire surface, sometimes breaking out across the rim of a piece. (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
The venerable Villeroy & Boch introduced Urban Nature, a line of dinnerware reflecting a rustic modern style. (Villeroy & Boch)
The bowls in the Urban Nature line are shaped like bridges, arching over irregular rectangular plates. (Villeroy & Boch)
Handpresso debuted its 1-pound hand-held espresso maker. Pour 161/27 ounces of hot water into the round reservoir, then pop in a pre-measured espresso pod from Starbucks, Illy or some other brand. The device forces hot water through the grounds into a cup. It will sell for under $150 in the U.S. this spring. (Handpresso)
BergHOFF of Belgium introduced three steel pots designed by Frederick Aerts that won’t be seen in the U.S. until spring, as with most of the items introduced at Ambiente. The lids have built-in strainer holes and also can double as trivets. (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
Stöckel of Germany showcased scoopers that serve up ice cream shaped like hearts, flowers and cubes. (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
Waterford hired designer Michael Aram, who has lived in India for 20 years and was inspired by the screen carvings and architectural details of India’s ancient skylines. His Jaipur line includes an ice bucket, votive holders and wine bottle holders made of pierced nickel-plated brass. Shapely finials top napkin rings, cocktail shakers and sugar bowls. (Janet Eastman / Los Angeles Times)
This limited-edition vase from Meissen ran contrary to the trend at Ambiente. Rather than depart from tradition, the manufacturer went deep into its archive. The design of this showpiece was conceived between 1740 and 1750; its current production run will be limited to 50 pieces. (Meissen)