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Aleksandra Pollner

Porcelain fortune cookies for the smashing

by Kelly O'Reilly in Design on 24 August 2012

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In explaining how she came to collaborate with design shop Object on a collection of porcelain fortune cookies, Seattle-based designer Aleksandra Pollner points to three tenets: form, past experience and material.

Certainly it's form that caught our eye first when we happened upon her pieces at the New York Gift Fair this week. Smooth and simple, the pristine white porcelain cookies are as beautiful as they are instantly recognizable, each one handsomely channeling the Chinese restaurant staple complete with a fortune inside. Next to the bowl lay a scattering of smashed pieces and a premonition strip, which seemed at once satisfying and shocking when considering the unexpected, delicate medium.

Pollner originally conceived the fortune project as a one-time, interactive installation of 100 cookies with Object. "The idea was made with a purpose of wanting to destroy something you may find precious," she says. "The destruction, though, is really about a change in state only—the broken porcelain fortune cookie is just as beautiful, if not more so, than its original form. To some degree the tension is broken, resolved, once they are smashed."

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At the same time, says Pollner, "porcelain fortune cookies are simply playful." True to traditional form, a little nugget of possibly prescient wisdom comes tucked into each cookie, decreed by psychic Darleen Christopher, with whom the designer had an "amazing reading" after a chance encounter. Her proverbial advice ranges from "Your plants need water. Ground yourself at home and you will create the dream you want" to "There is irresolution around travel. Do it. But don't disregard your second choice."

The fortune cookies are available for $16 each from Object's e-shop, where they also indicate new fortunes coming soon from "drug addicts and celebrities."

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