Caged Message vases by Alexis Themistocleous



Caged Message vases by Cypriot designer Alexis Themistocleous contain a secret message that can only be revealed when they are smashed.


The message is laser-cut from stainless steel, meaning that the words can alternatively be read through an X-Ray machine.


The vases themselves are cast from bubble-wrap.


Themistocleous has also cast vases from hollowed-out peppers and pumpkins (see below).


The following information is from Alexis studio:



Inside each of these objects, lies a secret message. But there’s a catch… to read it, you have to break it. In this particular project I aim to use destruction as a form of creation. To make them, plaster is moulded around a structure encased with bubble wrap, leaving a highly tactile surface. Inside each vase sits a laser cut stainless steel - a technique which also allows the text to be read through an X-Ray machine rather than breaking it.



On the specific project I was using “natural” moulds. What I mean by saying natural moulds is using particular shapes produced by Nature to cast vases. In this particular case, the role of Nature is displayed by using peppers and pumpkins to cast objects.


By filling a pepper or a pumpkin with clay, I was casting the negative space of the vegetable and as a result I created a product that is unique and to take it out of the “mould” (the vegetable) I had to break it. It is unachievable to find two of the same peppers so every time the object casted is unique.


One can never create an identical copy with his hands but instead something similar with the previous one. In this case the uniqueness of the shape is kept every time. What makes these objects unique are not just the variations of the shape but also the imperfections on the surface of the final piece.


Posted on Tuesday November 11th 2008 at 5:10 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • at least,creative

  • tommi

    i wanna see more how it made

  • OKP

    i have to say as coming from the ceramic design field, these are really badly made.. even the rawness of it looks to crafty.. and using bubble plastix and fruits and the secret message are for me few ingredients i have see many times in the design classes or potter artists.
    I wish him good luck working on new work but this is below quality for me.

  • paolo

    From now on I have to say that everything in design has been done. I love the x-ray vases. Great work!

  • Gill

    I have never imagined that a pumpkin will look like this from inside. It is quite nice seeing the negative space of things. Interesting work

  • Ren

    I have an xray machine in my kitchen, might buy one

  • Patzi

    Where can i buy them?

  • Geo

    Is that art or design? I think here comes the usual dezeen debate about what is art and whats design.

  • jt

    hey thats great!

    ill save my money and break a vase from a thrift store. nice try.


    Pepper and pumpkin objects are awesome!!! I think these are mostly art – one off pieces and quite difficult for mass production. Maybe thats the point though. I agree with tommi it would be great to see how the pumpkin and pepper objects are made of.

  • Loop

    I think crafts – hand made objects – art – design is the new movement in design today. Nice work.

  • OKP

    geo its craft.. not design neither art.. its obvious many people here dont know whats going on in ceramics world :)

  • Geo

    whatever it is man i find it cool :)
    It would be great to have love messages for couples to share

  • K. Rimane

    I second that OKP, but i think this is their first attempt to present the idea. it could certainly be perfected, but i think we should give credit when credit is due. I find this quite interesting.

  • Does anyone know the fairytales for robots by stanislav lem? there is a planet where furnitures grow like plants and breed like animals. Ther are incredibly aggressive wardrobes as top predators. We could start growing special shaped pumpkins by genetic engeneering to serve as special purpose casts. This could be a step into Stanislavs direction…

  • AA

    Great Work Alexis!
    Keep it up.

  • Way to go Alexis, these are awesome!!! Hope all well over in Cyprus, you getting over to London anytime soon to sell these bad boys?