Metropolis, Noteworthy, 2019

Metropolis

“Noteworthy: On Krenit Bowls”
May 2019

Kim Yao

colorful Krenit bowls displayed

As a child, I spent my weekends and holidays rummaging around antique stores and flea markets. My parents were avid collectors of Americana, and their quest for the next great find remains one of my strongest memories. Krenit bowls are some of the few items I collect as an adult. Designed by Herbert Krenchel in Denmark in 1953, these vessels are quintessentially beautiful and functional. Elemental in form and finish, the bowl combines strength and fragility in a structural steel base, fused with a delicate layer of enamel. The calculated adjustment of two dimensional parameters—diameter at the base and rim, and height—yields a range of bowl sizes from shallow to deep, small to large. The enamel interior can be vivid red, or white, or a soft pastel, which contrasts with the bowl’s matte-black exterior. The two colors, one glassy and bright, the other soft and dark, meet at the crisp line of the rim. These fundamental properties of form and proportion, theme and variation, beauty and function, are instrumental in shaping space and experience.