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FORNASETTI 2023 – THE SYNTAX OF MAKING

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Published by Sugar & Cream, Tuesday 23 May 2023

Image courtesy of Fornasetti

Atelier’s Unique Savoir-Faire : Giro di conchiglie, Giardino Settecentesco, Musciarabia con rose

During Milan Design Week 2023, Fornasetti launched “The syntax of making”, three new collections of furniture and accessories for the home characterised by new shapes and three different decorations that express the Atelier’s unique savoir-faire. Traditional craft techniques tied to an unmistakable artistic language construct the “syntax of making” that breathes life into Fornasetti’s creations.

Furniture is complemented by furnishing accessories and porcelain, enabling just a few small elements to transform any corner of the home into a microcosm of personality and elegance.

The wooden cabinets and bedside tables are distinguished by compact dimensions and new shapes, their numerous sides forming a prism on which the colours and silvery reflections of the decorations stand out, almost like the surfaces of a precious stone. The new console tables, with their more rigorous and essential lines, are each fitted with a drawer that makes them handy for storage without sacrificing their elegance.


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Accessories and porcelain complete the offering. Mirrors are objects dear to Fornasetti on account of their peculiar curved shape, which has the power to hypnotise anyone reflected with its optical effect. For the new collections, the surfaces of the mirrors are presented both in their classic, convex version and in a variant with bubbles, further accentuating the playful distortion of reality. The trays, available in metal, wood and porcelain, play host to the new decorations like artist’s canvases, while the lamps, available in different shapes and sizes, are ready to illuminate the various corners of the home with their soft light.

The three collections correspond to three different decorations from the historic archive. Giro di conchiglie is distinguished by the three-dimensionality of the sea-themed images, arising from the play of light of silver, applied manually in leaves, which creates a striking trompe l’oeil effect. The blue-coloured background has a special water-streaking effect, hand-painted by the Atelier’s painters. Giardino Settecentesco is characterised by fantastic landscapes and buildings in neoclassical style that coexist in a world where nature merges with architecture, and is available in three different colour variants, in shades of blue, green and yellow. Finally, the Musciarabia con rose decoration celebrates the meticulous geometry and black lines typical of Fornasetti, intersecting with the contours of the new creations. The pink of the flowers, painstakingly painted by hand, softens the contrasting interplay between black and white.

What shines through in each of Fornasetti’s new creations is the expert craftsmanship behind them, the fruit of careful attention to detail and a slow production process, elements that have characterised the Atelier from the outset and which are still faithfully maintained today.

With The syntax of making, Fornasetti pays homage to its heritage and, through an installation created especially for the occasion in the Milan store, allows visitors to discover some of the principal techniques involved in the creation of the Atelier’s objects. One room is filled with images from the historic archive, the source that sparks the entire creative process, another with silk-screen printing frames evoking the special printing technique used to apply Fornasetti‘s black lines. Finally, a third room offers the singular chance to admire a live painting performance by the Atelier’s painters, as they intently apply colours to some of the new creations, meticulously following models from the archive. It is a unique opportunity to observe the beauty of high craftsmanship at close quarters, seeing the path that each object takes, involving expert hands and ideas born of imagination.

“The value of making things by hand has acquired a deep meaning for me over time. It goes beyond technique and the desire to preserve a firm and coherent identity. It is a choice and a way of being today, in our modern world, an ethical line that puts people and what they make at the centre of everything. Craftsmanship is a conscious way of working, fuelled by a dynamic creativity, which embodies the extraordinary capacity to continuously combine abstract knowledge and experience: what I like to call ‘thinking with the hands’.” Barnaba Fornasetti, Fornasetti Artistic Director.

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