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how to curate the malibu with bold ceramics

We often get asked about the pieces in our photographs, both in projects and when styling our malibu shelf. Malibu is a bold force. It stands with intention, which requires the same of the pieces it holds. For this reason, we invited Jennifer Kerbel Poirier of Vessels + Sticks to our showroom to style the malibu with some of the stunning original ceramic artworks she carries on her online gallery and made by contemporary artists from around the world.

AB: Jen, we’ve worked together on the abd malibu a few times now. Being familiar with it, I’m curious to know what you consider when arranging objects on each shelf. Is there any kind of pattern you play with?  

JKP: It’s very much about going with my intuition. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you think you don’t know what to do. The truth is, there is no right way. It’s really about trying different things. For me, that’s the beauty of ceramic art. You can move it around. You can put it at various angles and heights, and when you change something, the experience changes, too. 

I love the malibu because it’s another piece of sculpture. I see the appreciation of its materiality and form, which are attributes we also experience in art. 

AB:  I love it when pieces are layered on the malibu. It takes on a different story each time.

JKP: Sometimes people want something functional because it’s safer. But then this shelf invites opportunities to do something more exciting and less predictable. The malibu encourages people to be a bit more daring. 

An ideal ceramics collection includes different forms because if you look at the same thing over and over again, your eye gets used to it. I like being aware of that and always seeking out an element of surprise that can re-engage interest.

AB:  Isn’t that what curating is? It creates a feeling through the way pieces are brought together. Once the arrangement is made, it feels good. It feels fresh and exciting. I love that. We do that a lot in our interior work as well. 

That’s what the malibu is about for me. It is not a typical bookshelf. It challenges you to think about how to use it, and that was very intentional on my part when designing it. You have to make something out of it to fully experience it.

JKP: Yes, and to have fun and not be afraid.

AB: It’s what you bring to it, Jen. The malibu is all about having an idea and seeing it come to life. Your ceramic collection is perfect for it. Each piece enhances the shelf overall, I love this build and this creation. Thank you.

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