Ōmbia is a ceramic sculpture and design studio by Cristina Moreno, whose work is featured in our SIZED SELECTS partnership with Dries Van Noten at The Little House in Los Angeles. The name Ōmbia and its roots originate from Colombia, where Moreno is from. Her approach to furniture design is centered around celebrating the organic and the imperfect, creating pieces that embody the beauty of handcrafted design. We caught up with Cristina to learn more about her process and the themes she explores with these pieces.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you began designing?
From an early age, I found joy in sketching and exploring different artistic mediums. Growing up in Colombia, I developed a deep appreciation for artisanal work, which slowly led me into art and design. As I grew older, my fascination with aesthetics, the visual world, and creativity depended. I studied fashion and textile design, and then went on to working as a footwear designer. Even though I loved every single one of these experiences, none of them ever clicked, until I discovered clay and started working with my hands. I believe all of these moments have been very influential in my work today.
How has your design style evolved?
It has been a very organic process. I definitely think one thing has naturally led to the next by letting it be. Naivety has played a big roll in this. I try not to put too much pressure around my design style and just put in out there, and let it mold on its own. I guess it’s very similar to my sculpture process.
Can you tell us a bit about your process for Cleo in BOND?
It has always been about letting the process inform the result. The Cleo table is directly linked to this. No top or leg is ever the same, as they are meant to just fall as they are placed. The top is a big block of clay that is pressed by a roller and whatever comes out is what stays. I’ve always been drawn to imperfections, especially in objects. I love that a leg is a bit crooked, or that the edges are rough. There’s a different energy the object holds when you notice these things; there’s a sense of relatability to the imperfect.
Do you have a preferred medium these days?
Clay will always be my favorite medium. It was what made me fall in love with the process of sculpting. But right now I have been working a lot with mixed media and testing some new materials out. This part is always exciting.
Are there any new materials or methods you’re hoping to explore in the future?
I would unrealistically love to explore them all! But right now I am very intrigued by metal and different new finishes that could be created. Hopefully I get some time soon to play around with these ideas.