Ettore Sottsass, architectural jewels between geometry, graphics and pop colors

Ettore Sottsass, bijoux architecturaux entre géométrie, graphisme et couleurs pop

1. A jack-of-all-trades designer

Ettore Sottsass grew up in Turin, Italy. As a child, he developed a real passion for everything related to design and interior architecture and multiplied his skills: painter, ceramist, jewelry designer, writer and even photographer, we can no longer count his different creative hats.

He began his professional life in New York where he discovered Pop Art and industrial design. His work was spotted by Poltronova, a furniture company, which he joined as artistic director. He then created a series called Mobili Grigi known for its monochrome colors and its works in plastic and fiberglass.

2. Design, a way of discussing life

In 1980, he created the Memphis Group, an influential Italian design movement with the help of other designers and architects. They were a great success at the Milan Furniture Fair thanks to their bright colors, their geometric architecture and the mix of very innovative materials appreciated by the public.

Ettore uses a lot of colors, signs for him of “vital energy” and combines veneered wood with bronze or even aluminum for a result that he wants to be modern, ultra pop and joyful in reaction to industrial design.

Casablanca bookcase, emblematic furniture of the Memphis group.

“Doing design is not giving shape to a more or less stupid product for a more or less luxurious industry. For me design is a way of discussing life. »

3. Ceramics and jewelry

Very marked by his life experience in India and fascinated by different rituals observed there, he began making his own ceramics in 1956, notably a series of totems. These totems will then inspire a collection of jewelry with architectural dimensions.

He calls them “his miniature architectures with an antique look, intended for queens and vestal virgins more than for women of our society”. Jewelry that is both contemporary and ancestral and will remain relatively unknown.

Here are some of them:

His creations are all intended for his wife Nanda. The designer is inspired by antique jewelry and organic materials such as ivory, coral, ebony or semi-precious stones. He plays with colors and volumes for an ultra graphic and geometric result.

“I would like to design jewelry in homage to an intelligent, generous woman, herself a queen. »

I particularly like the audacity of this designer who knew how to impose his spirit which is at once demanding, modern and joyful. We all know his Casablanca library but less so his jewelry line which reminds me of certain Bauhaus lines and particularly appeals to me.

And here is its Asteroid lamp which reminds me of the U shape of the l’Origine bracelet.

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