Every object has a story to tell and part of that story always involves someone. This 'story telling' is the foundation for the collection of objects from Manoteca by Elisa Cavani. Capturing old, discarded objects and turning them into something new to be appreciated, Manoteca hopes that the object’s new owner will think about the life the object once lived and the stories it invariably told. Often paired with recycled materials, the designers reinvent old objects into one-off designs that are completely handmade and only painted when necessary. Hailing from Bologna, Italy, Manoteca re-creates objects in a little house located in a park. The end result provides a consistent theme that emulates the age when the objects’ story began.
Indoor: What was once a door used to enter an interior has become a working surface for an interior environment. The desk splits open down its center to reveal storage pockets and drawers. When closed, the beauty of the weathered, aged wooden door is picture perfect as a dining table for 8 guests. The rugged hardware and worn edges reference a history and story begging to be told.
Il fausto: A tricycle is re-purposed to simultaneously provide book storage and a light source. The wood pedals and aged steel beautifully display the wear and use of the previous owner. A round, worn copper housing sits proudly at the front of the bike as it leads the way with its glowing light.
La nuit de noel: With great delicacy, a twisted tree dangles a drop of light over a small pool of water. The box grounding the branch is positioned so perfectly at an angle you almost don't notice the absolute balance that this brings to the piece. The electric source runs through the inside of the tree and the brown wire becomes evident exposed at the top to wrap a few branches before it feeds the exposed bulb. The water provides a reflective surface, mirroring the light source and calming the nubby branch. All in all, a beautiful piece for any setting.
Olmo: Manoteca has beautifully integrated a sink and faucet into an old carpenter's bench. The juxtaposition of the white, clean perfection of porcelain against such a rugged, weathered, marred wood bench is strikingly impressive where the working hardware of clamps, drawers, screws and the like is exposed with such pride of its rugged past. Paint and other stains are not seen as defects, but rather a history that is to be celebrated. The sink's faucet is poised at the perfect height as it proudly sits atop the sink, ready to be used.
Convivio (ch'i' solìa): A kitchen island composed of parts and pieces to aid in creating new stories providing an ideal gathering place for guests to chat while someone is cooking. The exposed lamp hardware complements the wood plank top and simple white wash cabinetry finish. Two further comfy bar stools help you snuggle up to the chef while a meal is prepared. The light fixture is properly positioned over the dining area in close proximity to further embellish this casual setting.
Finally, the 'L'ego' mirror and the 'Alto/Fragile' occupied night table are the last pieces of Cavani's latest re-designs!
As we stand back and admire the collection brought to us from Manoteca, it starts to tell a story of its own. We are excited to see what new (old) objects come next and the beauty they promise to eternally bring to our world.
>> I collect objects, take them home and then I wonder what they would like to be. The Manoteca project originates from my personal need to retrain the mind to be flexible by eliminating the prejudice and setting the imagination free”. That is how a door becomes a table that you can use inside and outside and a light bulb becomes a drop of water for the photosynthesis of a tree that produces the light. The game is for me one of the best existing creative processes. As adults we possess more information and can build more complex associations but when we decide to grow up, we tend to stop considering alternative solutions, the space narrows, the colors fade away, and we suffocate. I wanted to avoid drying out as it often happens to the plants in my apartment. Manoteca is just my point of view, is how I would like things to be if it were me to create them. <<