We speak with some of the country’s leading experts in style, art and design for our Sprezzatura Spotlight series. This month we speak with Rod Bamford, renowned ceramic artist and designer of the Ceramica di Manfredi Cup Suite on all things Sprezzatura.
1. What was your inspiration behind The Cup Suite for Ceramica di Manfredi?
The Cup Suite’s clean curves combine the aesthetic and the practical in a simple, uncluttered form. Inspired by aspects of early Roman ‘Samian’, Ceramic di Manfredi brings a contemporary flavor to the Manfredi family’s rich Italian heritage and celebrates their contribution to Sydney’s culinary scene.
The curve of each Ceramica di Manfredi coffee cup considers aspects of the ‘shared meal’ and the demands of busy cafés. The suite comprises of a single interlocking ‘universal’ saucer that supports five interchangeable cups and beaker variants, designed to stack and store in compact bars and kitchens. This multifunctional innovation allows one saucer to support an entire range of cup sizes and makes redundant the tooling, manufacturing and distribution of additional saucers.
The design of each cup aims to evoke an emotional connection accrued through a persons delight in using the various shaped cups. The ‘universal saucer’s’ central, concentric rings reflect the concept of ripples in a pond emanating from a single drop, evoking a perpetual use and life of the product.
2. What are you currently working on?
A number of things but the most notable is a tableware design for a Japanese company, GL21. They utilise crushed and recycled ceramics and work with experimental 3D printing using a RepRap machine.
3. How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
Contextual as it changes depending upon the brief. Overall, I seek a poetic integration of conceptual, visual and tactile elements with purpose. In tableware design, this is usually characterised by streamlined yet curvaceous and dynamic forms as seen in The Ceramica di Manfredi Cup Suite
4. What’s your most treasured item in your collection of artworks?
It would have to be a blue and white Ching dynasty porcelain bowl given to me by a diver who was paid in booty salvaged from a South China Sea shipwreck 20 years ago.
5. What is your favourite Italian design brand?
Not a brand as such but a movement. Memphis or Archigram.
6. Who epitomises Sprezzatura to you?
Eva Zeisel, Eduado Sottsas and Antonio Gaudi.