Jorge Horta otm

Why product development in Ceramic is so rewarding

Product development in S. Bernardo by Jorge Horta

At S. Bernardo we dedicate ourselves to place in each client’s home a decorative piece of ceramic (earthenware or porcelain) of great quality.

Of course, in order to achieve this goal, we have to overcome several stages, some of them with a very high demand.

Modelling is a good example of this. Every year our company develops about 250 new models and 1000 samples.

As projects become more and more difficult and demanding, the company has purchased a 3D printer as a means of assisting in new developments.

This new technology, in our case, does not jeopardise the place of the modeller, but it allows to greatly increase the response capacity of the company. It is a kind of wedding printer – modeller, which has had very good results, especially in reducing the time spent on product development.

The modelling process, as well as product development in general, is made up of victories and also some failures, but above all, a lot of learning.

For us, what works best, in a perspective of success, where we have to pass from the idea to reality, is to: understand what is intended by the designers or the client; present our point of view so that the piece can be produced and try to be one step ahead in the current status quo of the decoration, in shapes, colours or others.

We have many successful projects, but sometimes there are extraordinary projects that fall by the wayside. In these projects, even if we come to the conclusion that we would be able to execute them, other problems may appear, such as, the high final cost, large dimensions and the difficulty to reproduce them for the production, the lack of market to sell the product, among others.

S. Bernardo’s relationship with the client

There is a wide variety of projects at S. Bernardo’s that come to us in three different ways:

  • The client can design his collection for our company to develop and execute.
  • We can develop a collection and present it to the client.
  • There is a direct cooperation with the client, thus building a mixed collection (company and client pieces).

Internally we use to say “we tailor the suit to the client size”.

We have an excellent creative team, working directly with clients and their development teams and designers, bringing the pieces to life by removing them from paper and turning them into ceramic pieces which are authentic works of art.

Basically, working on the development of a product, is precisely that, to look at a drawing on paper and imagine how we are going to bring it to life, the problems we may have and how we can solve them, the colours, presentation.

After all this, seeing the final product makes our work very rewarding.

Text by Jorge Horta founding partner and production director of Perpétua, Pereira & Almeida (S. Bernardo).