Vertebra, ceramics rack

Longlist 2021

About Project

Vertebra, a ceramic rack (shelving),
a new collaboration between the studio of art ceramics DirtyHands and designer Igor Kurkin (Moscow, Russia).

In shape, the rack resembles a whale’s spine, a gigantic, noble, beautiful animal. But this is not a whale. It is important. This is the his part, vertebra. And one of the elements of the spine is dark, bronze. It’s like a flaw in a perfect ridge. Through the problem of whale extinction, the Vertebra rack speaks about the depressing situation of mammals, about the extinction of animals, and about environmental problems in a broad sense. Beauty must be in harmony with nature.

The message of a new interior item on an animalistic and eco theme must be supported by the material, so the choice fell on chamotte clay, as the most natural, eco material on the planet. DirtyHands studio is ready to experiment and take on daring challenges: the vertebra rack is one of the largest pieces of furniture in the ceramics world today.

We took Roger Tallon’s spiral modular staircase as the basis for the design.
Vertebra is a constructor from which you can assemble items for various purposes. In the future, within the framework of this project, it is planned to make a console and coffee tables, a mobile version of the shelving and much more – there will be a whole series of items based on the first.

Vertebra, shelving, ceramics
Width 1 m, height 2.95 m, depth 30 cm

  • Vertabra,ceramic rack 1
    Vertabra,ceramic rack 1Vertabra, rack 2
    Vertabra, rack 2Vertabra, rack 3
    Vertabra, rack 3Vertabra, rack 4
    Vertabra, rack 4Vertabra, rack 5
    Vertabra, rack 5
    Karen Yuzbashyan and Igor Kurkin. Work in progress.Vertabra, rack 6
    Vertabra, rack 6
    The new interior for ceramic rack is filling the datails yet.
  • Elizabeth Martirosyan, Karen Yuzbashyan, Igor Kurkin
  • DirtyHands, studio of art ceramics and designer Igor Kurkin
  • Furniture: collection | Product design: object | Eco project
  • The one of the largest ceramic pieces of furniture in the world - Vertebra - in shape ceramic shelve resembles a whale spine, in which all the vertebrae are white, and one is dark.
    With their new design item we want to draw attention to environmental and eco problems.


Elizabeth Martirosyan, Karen Yuzbashyan, Igor Kurkin


DirtyHands, studio of art ceramics and designer Igor Kurkin

Vertabra,ceramic rack 1 Vertabra, rack 2 Vertabra, rack 3 Vertabra, rack 4 Vertabra, rack 5 Vertabra, rack 6