Dezeen Magazine

Via Fondazza brass vases by Paolo Dell'Elce are modelled on still life paintings

Milan designer Paolo Dell'Elce has based the shapes of these mirror-polished spun brass vases for Swedish metalware company Skultuna on vessels in paintings by a 20th century Italian artist.

The Via Fondazza containers by Paolo Dell'Elce reference those that repeatedly appear in the paintings and prints of Giorgio Morandi, whose work was based on detailed research into shapes and proportions. Via Fondazza is the name of the Bologna street where the artist lived and worked.

"The material came first," Dell'Elce told Dezeen. "When I started working on a project for Skultuna I knew I would come up with an object made of brass."

"The company has worked with brass since the 17th century, so both the material and the company legacy inspired and guided the whole design process."

Via Fondazza Vase series for Skultuna

At the beginning of the project, Dell'Elce researched the use brass throughout the ages to find inspiration and forms for the material.

"To conceive an everyday object entirely made from brass led us to research the best examples of the vast production with this material manufactured by mankind in different eras and regions of the world, with the intent of designing an object that would fit coherently in the history and evolution of this timeless metal," he said.

Eventually, the designer returned to Giorgio Morandi. "Despite being two-dimensional images, the work of Morandi has always exerted a huge influence over my work as an industrial designer," explained Dell'Elce. "The harmony and balance of the objects represented in his paintings are, for me, a model to follow and constantly confront."

He used the artist's depictions of existing vessels, that had been reimagined in 2D, to inform a new set of solid objects. The vases are manually spun by craftsmen in an long-established factory in Skultuna, Sweden.

Via Fondazza Vase series for Skultuna
Paolo Dell'Elce's vessels with other Skultuna products

"It has been a long and thorough process: we have developed hundreds of models and drawings, characterised by imperceptible differences in shape, before identifying the forms included in the final collection," Dell'Elce said.

"The realisation of this collection has the intent, shared with the company Skultuna, to create future classics characterised by high aesthetic quality – timeless objects that will age well and live beyond styles," said the designer.

Via Fondazza by Paolo Dell'Elce for Skultuna will be presented at the Maison & Objet in Paris from 5 to 9 September.