Italian designer Guido Garotti worked with traditional ceramicists to create a hand-painted vase with the appearance of a stereoscopic image and a pair of road signs that look like decorative plates (+ slideshow).
The project began when designer Guido Garotti was invited by the cultural association Gruppo Acca to take up an artist's residency in Albissola, a small town in northern Italy known for its traditional ceramics.
"Once I got there, I was so impressed by the ability of the local painters executing their traditional decoration that I decided to design something to highlight their talent," Garotti told Dezeen.
"They embraced the project with enthusiasm and curiosity, following my directions with outstanding precision. In both projects the result is so neat that it is hard to believe that they were painted by hand," he added.
Garotti explored the local "Antico Savona" style, which is traditionally blue and white but also has a red and white variant.
He then combined these two styles in 3Dzionale, a vase decorated with the same image twice to create a stereoscopic 3D image – although not a perfect one, according to Garotti. "As the vase is hand-painted, it lacks the mathematical rigour that is necessary for a real stereoscopic image," he explained.
The other project, called Deviazione, is a pair of ceramic road signs in the two traditional colour varieties, each hand-painted with reclining figures and winged babies known as putti.
"As the general interest towards very traditional ceramics slowly seems to decrease, the craftspeople involved genuinely appreciated this attempt to produce something fresh incorporating their culture and skills," said Garotti.
Garotti graduated from the University of Florence's Industrial Design course before studying Furniture Design at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. In 2011, he and Sehr Khan founded the studio Life Given A Shape.
We previously featured a series of chairs by Garotti designed to age gracefully and encourage their owner not to throw them away.
Other road signs and markings we've featured on Dezeen include a jumbled up zebra crossing painted on a road in Serbia and a set of illuminated glass and steel road signs in Madrid.
We've featured a number of ceramics projects lately, including an illuminated constellation of ceramic yoghurt pots and a tea service based on the parts of an engine.
Photographs are by Gianluca Anselmo.
Here's some more information from the designer:
In May 2012 designer Guido Garotti was invited by Gruppo Acca of Albissola, Italy (popular in the '20s to be home to Ceramic Futurism), for an artist residence project aimed towards promoting ceramics as a creative language for art and design. In this context two projects were developed exploring the local decoration.
The decorative code named “Antico Savona” identifies a particular style that was born and evolved between Savona and Albissola (Liguria, Italy) around the middle of the XVII century. Very popular in the white/blue version, the style developed a white/red variant and a fully coloured option can also be found. Traditional objects decorated with the Antico Savona style were once highly looked after, however as fashion evolved, these artworks today seem to have lost much of their appeal. The two projects “Deviazione” and “3Dzionale “, aim to utilize this local traditional expertise to obtain a contemporary result.
With obvious wit, Deviazione (Diversion) makes use of the chromatic analogy between road signs and the traditional decoration for a courageous proposal: to realize the local street signs with the Antico Savona style. The result is bold however possibly too precious to be realistically used on the streets.
3Dzionale (3Dtional) through an adventurous time travel puts forward an unusual hybrid: a three dimensional version of the Antico Savona hand decoration. Although without rendering - of course - an impeccable stereoscopic image, the project brakes the schemes which froze the Antico Savona for the last few centuries. The funny thing is that such an original and culture jamming result can be achieved simply by repeating twice the same age old decorations.
Sign up for a daily roundup
of all our stories