Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paula Benvegnú - family tea

I've never been particularly concerned with owning matching sets of things. Many of our plates, bowels and glasses were either made by me, Patrick or friends of ours, so it's not unusual for us to have only one or two items - our 5 dinner plates, made by Patrick, are probably the most matching set of anything that we own - that intentionally go together. I have found, however, that many of the things that we've made, collected and bought over the years actually can be grouped together. I've made lots of water glasses that may not have been created as a matching set, but many of them are a similar shape and within the same color family that they look good next to each other, just as the handful of celadon-colored bowls that we own may have been made by different people, but still work well enough as a set that we can serve them as such when we have people over for dinner. Which is why, when I came across Argentinian art director Paula Benvegnú's Family Tea set, I thought that it was a brilliant extension of this idea. Family Tea is not only a cohesive tea set with no two pieces that are exactly the same, but it's also a meaningful visual representation of her family's history.

Consisting of 30 ceramic mugs and spoons, plus a tea kettle, Family Tea is a visual representation of Benvegnú's family tree. She explains that:
Family Tea is a tea set that is a family. Or a family that can be a tea set. This project arose from my obsession with the past, inheritance and family legacy, as well as the incessant search for new ways of telling its story. A common code we are all born with and that will continue appearing in all our defects and virtues: grandfather’s eyes, father’s birthmark, maternal great-grandmother’s white skin, grandfather’s hooked nose… the links are invisible but they are always there.
While each of the 30 mugs shares a similar color palette, no two are the same, with the tone and quality of color changing with each iteration, just as traits in a family change over generations. Completing the concept, each mug has been imprinted with the family seal and comes with a spoon that has a member of the family's name a birth date written on it.

(Via designboom)

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