October 3, 2016
Design News

Amsterdam-based designer Siba Sahabi created Blue Alchemy, a collection of seven felt vases that revive the legendary “Egyptian blue” and takes us back to an ancient pottery workshop that served as a laboratory for alchemical experiments. Siba’s vases are made by hand from coiled coloured felt strips and an enlarged glass tube is placed in each felt vase, allowing it to hold water.

The ancient Egyptians held the colour blue in very high regard due to its link to life, fertility, and rebirth. Since the semiprecious blue stone lapis lazuli was rare and extremely expensive, craftsmen desired to imitate the hue. The discovery of the first synthetic pigment emerged from the production of glazed ceramics because the raw materials (silica, lime, copper, and alkali) were basically the same.

Following its discovery, the use of the synthetic pigment spread throughout Mesopotamia, Greece, and the far reaches of the Roman Empire. The Egyptian blue had a strong influence on European art and was applied to, amongst others, the wall paintings of Pompeii. After the Roman era the Egyptian blue fell from use and the process of its creation was forgotten.

Blue Alchemy
Design: Siba Sahabi
Year: 2016
Credits: photo by Lisa Klappe, all images via
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