We’re pulling a little holiday gift inspiration from our own prop closet this year. Stuffed with great ceramics, linens and tableware, one of our all-time favorites in there (and most often found on team desks) are this glass and brass set by designer, Niels Datema.

We’ve long been fans of Niels whose eye for innovative, clever, yet extremely stream-lined objects fits right in with our goals for the home.

We picked Niels brain here with our In the Studio feature (read them all) and found out what motivated the talented young designer to make some of the most giftable items around the office…


Niels Datema

My favorite current project is:

I started to work with a local ceramist on Mallorca that has been producing ceramics for several generations. The clay comes from the island, so it has this beautiful red color from the ground over here. I love to work with (specific) materials! This project is in collaboration with a chef, and we will create a new tableware line.

Daily necessity:

Proper coffee — in winter hot, in summer with ice.

To get the creative juices flowing I…

Talk a lot with other people and keep my eyes open for interesting inspiration.

Favorite object in the studio:

(New) models and great objects I find in unexpected places that I keep for inspiration.

Latest inspirations:

The sand color and clay from Mallorca and the traditional products they make with it. I always get really inspired by materials; this can be any material and in this case the natural ground of Mallorca.

Soundtrack in the studio:

A complete variety. Depending the mood.

Inspiration behind the bread spoons:

The bread spoons are actually a simple way to make bread dough. For a loaf of bread, you only need a few ingredients. With the Bread Spoons you can provide these ingredients in the right amount and make a perfect dough. Since I got a lot of questions about these spoons, I created a stronger porcelain version for the market in collaboration with Serax.

Inspiration behind our fave pitcher and glasses:

I drank a glass of water that tasted like chlorine. This made me start to research tap water. To our naked eye, tap water looks like a clean and clear liquid, but every glass of water contains numerous different chemicals, like chlorine. I selected a couple of these chemicals and used them to oxidize metal. All chemicals gave a different effect of oxidation and this created the project ‘Water Chemistry.’ The glasses and pitcher from Serax are the commercial edition of this project and it has a blanc brass ring around it — the brass changes and gets more personal when using it.

Most common visitors to the studio:

Nico Guevara, great designer and we share the studio. Besides him, little mice… this doesn’t sound too nice, but because I have my studio in the country side of Mallorca, they sometimes visit the studio.

Favorite spots in the neighborhood:

I live in the center of Palma de Mallorca. In this city there are many hidden secrets and great places. Since I’ve lived here for awhile, I know them pretty well — nice little restaurants, great shops and beautiful streets!

Organizational item I can’t live without:

To-do lists.

Other artists inspiring me right now:

I don’t have any specific artists who inspire me. My inspiration comes from really random things. This can be product design, but also materials, techniques, art, architecture etcetera, etcetera. I would describe my style as minimalistic, so other minimalistic work triggers me.

Favorite art galleries / museums in the city:

Joan Miró Foundation.

When I’m not in the studio I am here:

Outside. Mallorca has a huge variety of landscapes, from the sea to the beautiful mountains. Having a ride on my motorbike over the island gives me time to think about my projects; being in the sea on a surfboard literally flushes my brain.

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