Pavel Belonogov and Pavel Krasnyanik believe in form and function. Their company, Backyard Ceramics, boasts a range that’s strictly utilitarian: incense burners, pipes, and bongs. But these aren’t illicit items to stash behind the sofa. The pair want their customers to display their work with pride.
“We saw that Russian smoking culture is closely associated with repulsive imagery: grotesque acid colors and predictable visual patterns,” Belonogov and Krasnyanik told The Calvert Journal. The pair went into business together for the first time in 2016 with their company Pinhead, and have worked together ever since. “Objects designed in that vein are doomed to be hidden away as soon as they’ve been used. We strive to create products that are both perfectly functional, and would make a decent addition to any interior.”
Inspired by design studios such as Yeenjoy Studios and Neighborhood, the team create all of their products in St Petersburg in limited runs of less than 100.
“We like to call our aesthetic ‘normcore ceramics’,” say Belonogov and Krasnyanik. Both say that they want to show another side to smoking culture, but stress that good design comes first and foremost for the brand itself. “We value simple forms and recognisable silhouettes.”