Natural Material Studio develops Shellware ceramics from leftover seashells

Hvillum worked with a marine research center to create the material. Photography by Peter William Vinther.

Designer Bonnie Hvillum’s Natural Material Studio has created conceptual ceramics from clay made out of powdered seashells from Denmark’s Noma restaurant. The Copenhagen-based designer teamed up with the restaurant, known for its locally sourced produce, and ceramicist Esben Kaldahl to develop the seashell-based material. The Shellware project used donated leftover scallop and other seafood shells from Noma to create the crockery.

During the research, Hvillum developed a number of different clays, including clays that look like coral and a clay that functions as a glaze. As part of the project she also created a biodegradable seaweed textile that can be used as a matching table mat or cloth. These are made with seaweed extract and a natural softener, before being hand-cast in frames and cut (Carlson, 2021).

Personal notes:

This represents a circular economy. Using something that was a waste to create a new object, which will return to the restaurant where the raw material came from, is what we should all try to implement. These actions motivate me to continue acquiring knowledge in materials to change how we do everything and try to implement a different model than the current one.

Carlson, C. (2021, July 15). Natural material studio develops shellware ceramics from leftover seashells from noma. Dezeen. Retrieved January 15, 2023, from

The seashell clay is turned into ceramics. Photography by Peter William Vinther.