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Three Decades Later, Donald Judd’s Long-Lost Tableware Designs Are Finally Available

How the Artist's Rare Tableware Designs Sketched in Marfa Were Brought to Life

BY // 07.06.23
photography Eric Poitevin

A rare tableware service sketched in 1989 by artist Donald Judd was never produced, and the designs languished in the artist’s archives for almost 30 years after his death in 1994. Now a collaboration between Donald Judd Foundation and French silversmith Puiforcat has brought Judd’s original designs to life. Rendered in polished sterling silver, the collection is as elegant and exacting as Judd’s renowned sculpture, furniture, and architecture.

Made to order by Puiforcat artisans at the company’s workshop near Paris, the dinner service for eight includes dinner, dessert, salad, soup, and bread plates, as well as a cup and large serving bowl.

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Part of the eight-piece dinner service by Donald Judd for Puiforcat. (photo by Eric Poitevin)

Although Judd originally produced a few prototypes in stainless steel and ceramic, he was never able to achieve the sharp-edged precision he desired. Flavin Judd, artistic director of the Judd Foundation and Donald’s son, worked closely with Puiforcat’s artistic directors to interpret and complete his father’s designs, which feature refined cylindrical forms bisected by planes in tight 90-degree angles. Master silversmiths at the 200-year-old Puiforcat atelier used a brazing molten filler technique to achieve invisible welding points. Each piece is numbered and stamped with founder Emile Puiforcat’s initials.

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The eight-piece dinner service by Donald Judd for Puiforcat includes dinner, bread, soup, salad, and dessert plates. (photo by Eric Poitevin)

Judd drew a hard line between his art and other designs such as furniture and architecture, which he intended to be simply functional. In this case, Judd has refined form and function into its most sublime state, which even he might acknowledge is the essence of all his art.

Dinner service by Donald Judd for Puiforcat, price upon request, is available at some Hermés boutiques.

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