LEM is a group formed in a petrol station in Finland in 2008 while its members were enjoying a pit stop on a high way on their way to Helsinki. They had met earlier, whilst chopping wood on a night watch for a wood-firing kiln. The group consists of three Helsinki University of Art and Design (Aalto University) graduates, Saara Kaatra, Laura Itkonen and Lotta Veromaa who all studied at MA Applied Art and Design. The name LEM derives from the second names of its members and was mutually agreed upon as the members all like the Polish writer Stanislaw Lem.

‘Animal Series’ is the first project by LEM and it is sponsored by Iittala Group. ‘Animal Series’ tells stories through animals in everyday ceramic tableware. Creating new life and meaning for everyday common objects.

“Sweet fairytale scenery and figures like the unicorns, pink rabbits and canary birds are in contrast with the macabre themes of blood, death and loneliness.” Asta Boman, Art Historian.

The vessels are made using old Iittala moulds that are out of production: bowls, cups and plates that have simplistic shapes, familiar to Iittala Groups tableware. By placing animals in the vessels to tell a story, the group is triggering a new life and meaning to these objects. Telling stories that change depending on the viewer, in the same time questioning and stretching the limits of mass production. The easily approachable animal figures create their own private miniature worlds into each vessel that can be endearing, terrifying, humoristic or twisted depending on the viewer. LEM leaves the stories to the viewers imagination; what stories and meanings do they find behind the humour or macabre?

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