Based in Amsterdam, Italian and American designers Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland are the design duo behind Studio DeSimoneWayland. Both are steeped in their respective backgrounds of studio art and art history, as well as the world of textile design and culinary arts. Their combined histories, as well as a deep love of art and design, informs all that they do.
Their attraction to plates – and by extension to ceramics in general – came by way of their surface decoration as well as their shapes. The idea to use the subject matter of the plates and marry it with another image came about in 2010 with their Altered Perspectives, a series of transferware plates combined with fine art oil on canvas paintings. As the designers explored these compositions, the shapes of the various plates also became an important element. Ovals mixed with circles, and with scalloped shell shapes or 19th C. inspired Delfts Blue plaques.
In 2014 they created a new series where they designed both the plates and their own digital transfers: in effect creating the idea of the Altered Perspectives entirely in ceramics. This new series of limited edition ceramics is titled Altered Histories, as historical transfer patterns and oil paintings are reworked to create new images. In the process of creating their own plaster molds, DeSimoneWayland discovered the beauty of the textiles combined with the ceramics, which led them to create ceramics with texture, unglazed, and yet brightly colored. This was achieved by adding pigments to the stoneware or porcelain, creating own custom colors, while the unglazed surface left its texture untouched. The entire process from surface decoration to shape to texture and color has been a very organic one, and like anything, in a natural process, DeSimoneWayland’s research within ceramics keeps evolving: painterly effects, new glazes, bigger pieces characterize their latest work.
Other standout projects include the duo’s wallpaper collections: Volume 1 (2014): an hommage told through sky, stars, and botanicals, of the place they call home; Holland; Volume 2 (2019): a collection bold in both scale and color celebrating the beauty of the line and the evidence of the hand of the draughtsman.
To date, their work adorns a number of stylish estates, showrooms, and hotels, including Hamburg’s newly opened Tortue Hotel (2018), whose 126 rooms feature customized versions of their Morning Glory and Night Sky wallpapers. Among other notable macro-scale projects are wallpaper and art pieces for Weekend MaxMara’s various boutiques (2013-2015); redwood-inspired wall art for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim, CA (2017); and a custom, white-porcelain spinoff of From a Different Cloth for showcase in Plain English UK’s Manhattan showroom (2018).