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30 December 2022
Handmade vases that delicately and poetically evoke the suggestions of nature
The oxymoron is a rhetorical figure in which two contradictory concepts are combined to give rise to a further meaning. It is one of the greatest expressions of language and invites the mind to experiment with meanings by facing unexpected narratives and training one’s cognitive abilities. With the oxymoron we go beyond what has already been said, already expressed and accepted, we push the boundaries of knowledge and imagination further forward, through verbal language. Patricia Urquiola, with the Oxymoron collection of vases for Editions Milano, imposes the translation of the oxymoron from the linguistic to the manual level: ceramics takes the place of the word while retaining the additional expressive power of the juxtaposition of two elements of a contradictory nature.
Urquiola’s collaboration with Editions Milano has already given rise, in the past, to projects that arouse amazement: from the Credenza and Miscredenza cabinets, to the Piani collection of tables and shelves, up to the Versi series of vases and trays in marble. Each project is a tribute to creativity and is a new interpretation of ancient functions. The same can be said of Oxymoron: the vase fulfills the function of containing one or more flowers but returns a completely new tactile and visual effect.
The vases are all handmade by skilled craftsmen involved by Editions Milano, Urquiola asked them to “reproduce the effects of the action of water and wind on rock, on earth, on life”. And therefore, on each vase, just like on each soul, the smooth and uniform parts find themselves coexisting with rougher, almost pungent parts. This “material oxymoron” is given by the double processing of the same material which in some points is treated with ceramic enamel which gives the characteristic lucidity and homogeneity to the touch, and in other points it is carved and therefore rough and worn.
The final effect is extremely natural, as was the intention of the designer. The heterogeneous surface of the vases evokes that of a rock, smoothed by the wind and corroded by the sea. To obtain this result, numerous steps are required, the hand-making of which leads each vase to be a unique piece different from the others. An introspective project, which invites us to reflect on the passage of time and on the beauty that the marks of this passage leave on objects and on life.
An author’s project that shows the more reflective side of Urquiola, also in the chromatic choice: soft shades of blue, pink, yellow and green. Even in the colors the designer seems to want to mention nature. These are discreet, gentle, and elegant colors just as the collection itself is extremely sophisticated. It is no coincidence that color is always a characterizing element of Urquiola’s style and of its collections which are always highly chromatic.
Ceramics, the “earth” material par excellence, is the protagonist here of a process that is first creative and then artisanal. Through each of the phases of its processing, it takes shape, evolves, and is consumed to then assume its definitive configuration in a completely new guise. A garment that, however, evokes the land from which this material originates and of which it is both a fragment and a representation. Finally, elegance envelops the entire collection, making each of these vases an ideal component for a sophisticated and substantial interior. To underline this aspect, Editions Milano has chosen to entrust the images of the collection to a professional particularly devoted to elegance: Adriano Russo, a highly prestigious fashion photographer.
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