Across Oceans and Time

A porcelain master and admirer of ancient China has brought his distant imaginings of Han culture and his impeccable craftsmanship to modern dinner tables.


 Elad Yifrach, founder of L’OBJET 
Elad Yifrach, founder of L’OBJET 


Porcelain’s technological maturity peaked in the ancient Han Dynasty. Celadon ware, already ice-smooth and jade-like, gained a crystal-pure glaze from master potters. This mysterious objet d’art, fascinating Europeans for centuries, still attracts those with a keen interest in Oriental arts and cultures.

Elad Yifrach is among them. L’OBJET’s founder, Yifrach first fell in love with ancient culture in Europe’s birthplace — the Mediterranean. His passion for traditional art and respect for history’s great craftsmen led him to design his own works of art, with porcelain as his primary medium.

For his new “Sous Le Ciel” collection, Yifrach reveals “I was in search of a moment in history where old world techniques and crafts were at their highest point. I found China’s Han period.” Porcelain’s durability, elegance, delicacy and strong plasticity enable Yifrach to fully realize his thoughts and emotions, both in his original Mediterranean-inspired masterpieces and these latest tours de force.

 Dishes from L’OBJET’s new Han Dynasty-inspired collection   
Dishes from L’OBJET’s new Han Dynasty-inspired collection  

“I feel the world is focused on modern China these days and has forgotten about China’s rich and magnificent history. I hope this collection is a good bridge between the ancient and the modern worlds.” 

Yifrach marries eras, cultures, harmonious shapes and patterns from diverse sources. Vigorous and powerful motifs on his uniquely shaped cups, plates, bowls and saucers, inspired by Han bronzes, are encircled by gentle, graceful designs derived from silk weavings. “I find the patterns most beautiful when they are mixed. It showcases how the strong and powerful cannot survive without the soft and gentle. Just like yin and yang.”

Look carefully and you will find that this tableware was formed to mimic clouds’ curves, reminiscent of blossoming white lotus flowers. This sacred pattern, known as “auspicious clouds,” is seen on many Chinese artifacts and cost L’OBJET manufacturers great pains. Its production required a grasp of precise structures and superb craftsmanship, to ensure that the delicate bases would not collapse.  

“I wanted to push the limits of craftsmanship and artistry to a higher level of intricacy with this collection,” Yifrach says. “The Han dynasty was known to be one of the greatest periods of artistic expansion and I wanted to honour that.”

Did you know?

~ The Han Dynasty, a pinnacle of Chinese culture, flourished from 220 to 206 B.C. 

~ The Han people were the first to develop porcelain, paper, standardized Chinese characters and today’s Chinese lunar calendar. They were the first to turn fine silk into garments and calligraphy into an art form.

~ Han architecture paid particular attention to the coordination between the celestial bodies and the mountains and oceans.

~ The Han were primarily Taoist and believed in “the unity between heaven and man” and “the Tao’s ways follow Nature.”

24K gold-plated tray and figure pay homage to Han Dynasty “heavenly horses.”