Ancient Sicilian jug resurrected as functional souvenir object
Ancient artefacts, cultural remnants characteristic of a particular region are often downgraded today to a cheap, mass-produced souvenir form. Deprived from their original function, they carry solely marketing value, their assumed but not actual authenticity selling these products. Slowly, signs of change are surfacing in this segment; it seems that there is a growing need both from tourists’ and designers’ parts to buy and create truly authentic souvenir objects that carry the handprint of a contemporary artist as well as a legitimate cultural content.
Sicilian Make That studio and Improntabarre created the jug Pètra exactly in this spirit, and turned an ancient Arabian ceramic piece into a fully functional contemporary tableware accessory. Pètra is based on Bummulo Malandrino, a fine liquid container that arrived to Sicily during the Moorish domination (827-1091 AD), and soon became a well-used object in the region. Today, however, it is manufactured only in a single place, exclusively for souvenir purposes.
The designers took inspiration both from the ancient container, and from the idea of the preciousness of the water it stores. They visited the Simeto, Sicily’s main river, and chose a particular stone from the riverbed to be the aesthetic inspiration for Pètra’s shape. After a long research on form and history, the final product was born, available with different finishes and in a limited number. Pètra is hoped to take over cheap replicas so tourists have the chance to return home with a beautiful and functional object that represents well the cultural richness of their holiday destination.
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