Rarely do flies and cattle provide inspiration for beautiful kitchen ware. “Graze,” a new line of dishware from Norwegian design studio Ment, manages to pull off the idea of discovering a large fly in your coffee with grace.
The collection includes a full line of breakfast dishes with mugs, small plates, a cream and sugar set, a buttering board, and a jug, all inspired by the idea of the saeter (or seter), the traditional Norwegian summer farm.
Ment started in 2012 when sisters Ingvild and Sidsel Forr Hemma–then working as a stylist for interior decorating magazines and a product designer, respectively–bought a former ski factory near Lillehammer, Norway, just outside of Oslo, to use as as their workshop. They’ve been churning out hand-crafted colored porcelain and other ceramics since, and the few lines they already have in production tend to take inspiration from very Norwegian themes–the green color of the river that flows outside their workshop, the shape of bowls popular with their grandmother’s generation, and now, farming.
Historically, Norwegian farmers would keep their livestock on farms in lowland valley during the winter. Once the weather warmed up for the summer, milkmaids would take the animals up into the mountains and put them out to pasture, spending the entire summer tending to the cows and making cheese before returning to the valley in September.
“They were there on vacation,” says Ingvild Hemma, who co-founded Ment with her sister, Sidsel Forr. She describes “Graze,” (or “Beite” in Norwegian) as “our very, very Norwegian series.” The ceramics, decorated with files and wisps of overgrown pasture grass, are meant to evoke this same feeling of a relaxed summer in the mountains. The shape of the dishes is also cattle-inspired. The sugar bowl is shaped like a cow hoof, and the creamer and mugs are gently curved like a cow’s horn. (While a beautiful touch, this is also a bit of a design flaw. The curved shape does cause hot liquid to rapidly accelerate toward your face. I speak from personal experience.)
While Ment is still working on expanding stateside, the items can be ordered online and shipped internationally. Cow-chic dish design–coming to a farm-to-table restaurant near you?
Items in the collection range approximately $26 for plates to $100 for a pitcher. Get them here.