Social Togetherness: Inga Sempé in Conversation

July 4, 2020 · 0 Comments

With many still working from home and restaurants slowly reopening we are doing much more preparation of food and drink. We have asked the designer Inga Sempé to share her experiences, with particular reference to her design for UK firm Crane Cookware.

What was your philosophy and objectives when creating the cast iron pan?

I wanted to create an object that doesn’t look directly drawn with the most basic tools from the computer programmes. I mean a curve doesn’t have to be always half a circle or a quarter of a circle. Curves can have some other rules.  An oval is not obliged to be made by two parallel lines joined with a half-circle neither…I looked a lot on Ebay at all the cast irons pan that are available, from the most recent to the oldest from the 19th century. It was the first times I was doing it because I was not really familiar with those kinds of cooking utensils, and I even had never seen a double grid pan… I wanted it to look visually light and not aggressive, more technical. Just friendly, and recognizable with the distinctive stripes in a herringbone pattern… I wanted it to be easy to use with the double pouring spouts for left and right-handed… 

Have you been using it recently and if so, do you have a simple recipe you would share?

Yes, I have used it on fish with the fennel that I grow every year on my windows. I also use it with zucchinis and eggplants and the herringbones that appear on them is very nice. 

What aspects of the pandemic have bought positive gains for you, your work or your family? 

The pandemic was not a hard time for us as we are living in a nice and light place in Paris. But I was thinking a lot about the people living in tiny and dark places. The positive side of it is that all wild herbs have grown on the streets of Paris, every seed had time to grow in the tiny holes of the macadam and walls. It shows that the way we treat vegetal is as stupid as the way we treat animals and hair on women bodies….

Any new designs you would like to share and thoughts for the future?

In Milan that was supposed to happen in April, I was supposed to present a new sofa system and a cast iron candleholder with Hay, some glass containers with Glas Italia, a collection of ceramic tiles with the Italian company Mutina, a wooden stool with the small and qualitative Swedish company, Articles… All those should be released around September and December… My thoughts for the future is that cast iron is a very old material which still has a great future…

Many thanks to Inga for taking the time to talk to us, we can’t wait to see her new designs.


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