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Bach Memorabilia

Memo-2418

Type:

Bach Ceramic Vase

Title:

Ceramics & coffee - the italian way!

Description:

Master brewers bring caffine and art together
As a family with a long Tuscan tradition, it was natural for the Slitti family, coffee roasters and producers of high quality chocolates, to turn to Majolica artists Taccini Brothers, Alessandro, Vittorio and Fulvio with an idea for a project. They wanted to decorate their shop (Slitti Cioccaltae Caffe in the town of Monsummano Terme, with six large Coffee bean dispensers.
These richly painted vases line the wall behind the counter at the Slitti Coffee and Chocolate shop. Beans are dispensed through a hole in the wooden base and, after weighing, extra beans are returned as dispensing “shovel” fits into an orifice at the bottom of the urn.

Master artist brings art and caffine together
The Slittis wanted to commission 6 traditionally decorated vases, but Fulvio's drive to go one step further gave birth to the idea of painting a miniature illustrated history of coffee and coffee culture.
Fulvio recalls: "When asked to produce the coffee dispensers I suggested that in the ceramic design we integrate the topic of coffee itself. I knew I would use Raphaelesque decorations as a base. These have been passed down to me by generations of ceramic artists in my family. But I also wanted to tell the story of coffee and its relationship to Slitti and his family's craft."
That initiative put Fulvio on an artistic journey that lasted two years! Fulvio studied the history of coffee from bean to cup and its journey around the world. Like many Italians, his love of coffee did not necessarily mean he was preoccupied with the history behind the cup.
His natural fondness for a well prepared coffee from well prepared beans --appreciating the traditional care taken in preparing coffee in Italy -- Fulvio was a little embarrassed by the fact that his family brought an automatic pod espresso machine into the studio.
"I started reading the literature and preparing numerous drawings of various coffee machines. I learned about local customs in Ethiopia, about the French love of technological exploration and about the various stages in the evolution of the modern espresso machine in Italy. For the final versions of the vases I chose what I thought are the milestones in the story and history of coffee."
"Between the traditional Raphalesque scenes of 'grotesque' dragons, griffons and flowing vines, I interlaced images depicting different aspects of the coffee myth and history. These include vignettes such as the discovery of the coffee tree by the goats of the Ethiopian shepherd Khaldi, or the opening of Lloyd's coffee shop in London that later became the famous insurance company)."
Besides the historical scenes, many apparatuses used for preparing coffee are pictured: roasters, grinders and various brewers. The latter, in particular, are rich in variety, portraying historical brewers such as the Vienna Incomparable, the Balance, the original Moka Express and the first Gaggia pump driven Espresso machine.
Countries important to the cultivation and spread of coffee are represented in miniature landscapes, such as a sunset in Jamaica, a steppe in Kenya and the minarets of Istanbul. Historically accurate drawings of old time sea vessels and the "ship of the desert", the camel, represent the international routes used to move the coffee from it's homelands to your cup.
Each vase is capped with a cover adorned with a portrait of a personality who symbolizes that "coffee is a drink that wakes both body and mind" (Fulvio Taccini):

Those portrayed are:
* Voltaire: who claimed that his 40 cups a day made it able for him to "stay wide awake-to think, think, and think how to combat the tyrants and imbeciles."
* J.S. Bach: who wrote the Coffee Cantata.
* Beethoven: who played at the Berkal Pater coffee house (and who used to religiously count 60 beans per cup.
* Montesquieu: representing the democratic aspect of coffee and coffee houses where social classes mix.
* Carlo Goldoni: Italian playwright who wrote a comedy about the Coffeehouse in Venice in 1750.
* Napoleon: frequent coffee house visitor (where he tried his hand at chess).
The six large vases, each one meter high and 40 cm in diameter, have a stately look sitting against the wall in the coffee shop. While their surface is full of what would seem to be incongruous subjects, I found myself drawn into the detailed tapestry of image after image -- their impact is more fully felt when the artwork is viewed in person rather than photos.

Measures:

* Six large vases.
* Each one meter high and 40 cm in diameter.

Creator:

Fulvio Taccini

Comments:

Buy item at:

See Source/Links below.



Source/Links: Virtual Italia [N/A] | Ceramics and Coffee: The Italian Way, by Myron Joshua (I neeed Coffee)
Contributor:
Teddy Kaufman (January 2008); Myron Joshua (December 2009)

Bach in Arts & Memorabilia: Main Page | Index by Type/Number
Bach in Arts: Portraits | Statues, Monuments, Memorials & Plaques | Hommage a Bach | Posters & Graphic Art | Busts, Figurines & Statuettes | Postcards & Greeting Cards | Caricatures & Cartoons | Stamps & Envelopes | Medals, Medallions & Coins | Pottery, Ceramics & Glass | Seals, Signatures & Monograms | Festival Posters | Musical Instruments & Music Boxes | Video Art
Bach Memorabilia: Home: Clocks | Mugs, Cups & Steins | Magnets | Pillows | Towels | Yard Signs | Boxes & Cases | Smoking Objects | Playing Cards | Toys & Dolls | Sweets
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Last update: ýJanuary 1, 2010 ý13:00:36