Italy

Mamma Mia That’s One Fancy BBQ Set.

Would you look at this, a fancy BBQ set designed by Italians, with metal made by Germans, and hopefully serving food to Americans on the Fourth of July. If it isn’t it should be. This stuff looks so nice I’m not sure I’d want to let it near my BBQ. The set is made from rust-resistant, brushed steel from Germany, and Indian Rosewood handles with an oiled finish. I love the clean lines, and minimalist aesthetic.

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Maserin’s BBQ set is made in much the same way as their folding kitchen knives. Blades are laser cut from a sheet of steel, then attached to a thick wire that forms the core of the handle, around which goes the rosewood handle.

The set is made by Maserin in Magiano, Italy,which is known as the “city of knives”. Maserin was founded in 1960 and began by making sporting knives. They are now considered among the world’s best. Their tradition of artisanal blacksmithing continues to embrace the latest technologies in blade-making. They’ve since expanded their collection to include everything from mushroom foraging knives to corkscrews, and now, a barbecue set to end all barbecue sets.

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Summer Rosé,

The first day of summer is tomorrow, so keeping up with this weeks build up to summer theme I have created a poster of 10 rosés that you can drink now. None of them will break the bank and all of them are good choices for a hot summer afternoon. The list of wines is from Guyot’s rosé picks for 2013.

Prices range from 10 bucks to around 28. The rating scale from Guyot is pretty simple. 13-14/20 is a Good wine, 15-16/20 is a very good wine, 17-18/20 is excellent, anything above is outstanding.

In years past rosés have gotten a bad wrap, especially in the United States. These 10 will change any perception you have about the quality of rosé wines, and hopefully get you drinking rosés if you haven’t started already.

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A Petrolicious Time Machine.

For auto enthusiast Petrolicious is a website that you really need to bookmark. For those of us that love classic cars, and well made short films, Petrolicious Vimeo channel is a must. The five minute short below, is an incredible story of an Italian man’s 1939 Peugeot, his restoration of it, and a discovery that changes everything. The short film is a great story, complimented by nice editing, cinematography, and post work. If you get a chance, watch the other wonderful short films on Vimeo here.

Time Machine from Petrolicious on Vimeo.

Italia Veloce. Hand Crafted for You.

BESPOKE: custom-made <a bespoke suit> b : dealing in or producing custom-made articles.

The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak, to “speak for something”, in the specialized meaning “to give order for it to be made”. The term bespoke in fashion is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men’s clothing, analogous to women’s haute couture, in contrast with mass manufactured ready-to-wear (also called off-the-peg or off-the-rack). While widespread in the United Kingdom, the term is rarely employed in the United States, although it may be used by some in the high-end tailoring business.

Italia Veloce creates top of the line bikes, that feature hand crafted artistic touches and cultural references. While the bikes might not be bespoke in the truest sense of the word, they are representative of fine Italian craftsmanship and quality; of a hand built object, a one of a kind piece of craftsmanship.

These hand built one of kind classical frames, are individually numbered and cataloged. Frame numbers are impressed by hand into the patch and attached to the bike when it is completed. The registration booklet that accompanies each bike is filled with detailed information about the frame’s characteristics along with information regarding the whole bicycle. Each modifacation of the bike or tuning is continuously noted in the booklet helping to maintain the bicycles provenance for the company’s historical archive. That provenance helps establish each bike as a unique work of hand crafted art.

 

Design Friday, Enzo Mari.

One of the most thoughtful and intellectually provocative Italian designers of the late 20th century, ENZO MARI (1932-) has proved as influential to younger generations of designers as to his peers as a writer, teacher, artist and designer of products, furniture and puzzle games.

There is a possibly apocryphal story that Enzo Mari once devoted over a year to thinking about – and experimenting with – and prototyping the design of a single ashtray for Allesi. He worked on other projects at the same time, but the ashtray was always at the forefront of his mind. When finished, it was praised by Mari’s peers as exceptionally elegant and dramatically different from existing ashtrays. Unfortunately it proved too different for the public’s taste. The ashtray was a flop and its only enduring legacy was that it contributed to Mari’s “two-packs-a-day” cigarette habit.

Enzo Mari was born in Novara, Italy in 1932. An artist and designer, he studied classics and literature at the Academia di Brera in Milan from 1952 to 1956, and dedicated his attention to research into the methodology of design. As a student, Mari supported himself by working as a freelance artist and researcher. This was a period when Italian design was flourishing as enlightened industrialists collaborated closely with designers to rebuild their businesses after the second world war. This had a significant influence on Mari and he also became quite interested in design and painstakingly taught himself everything he could about it.

Mari’s approach to design was predominantly theoretical. He was more concerned with its role in contemporary culture and relationship with the user than with becoming a design practitioner. After graduating in 1956 he opened a studio in Milan to continue his studies of the psychology of vision, systems of perception and design methodologies. These studies took physical form when Mari created three-dimensional models of linear elements and planes. Forced to earn a living, Mari made contact with the Italian plastic products manufacturer Danese and agreed to develop a series of mass-manufactured products.

Mari’s first project for Danese was “16 Animali”, or 16 Animals. Launched in 1957, it was a wooden puzzle to which Mari applied his theories of problem-solving to create a group of simply carved animal shapes that included a hippo, snake, giraffe and camel – that join together to form a rectangle. The puzzle marked the start of a long collaboration between Mari and Danese, which continued at the turn of the 1960s with the development of containers and vases. Mari was determined to develop these products for mass production without compromising his belief that the outcome of each design project should be beautiful to look at and feel, while performing its function efficiently. Describing his philosophy as one of “rational design”, he defined his work as being “elaborated or constructed in a way that corresponds entirely to the purpose or function”.

As a true philologist of the language of the visual arts, Mari turned his attention to design in the late 1950s, fully aware of the need to work towards a global project of quality with mass culture. The disciplinary complexity of his activities have been commented on by personalities in the world of culture: Enzo Mari thinks creatively and builds logically (Max Bill, 1959), Enzo Mari a philologist of a creative language (Pierre Restany, 1967), Enzo Mari the more he thinks about it (about the crazy, ambiguous, uncertain and slippery “profession” of design) the worse he feels (Ettore Sottsass, 1974), Mari the designer’s conscience (Alessandro Mendini, 1980), Enzo Mari, who works at a systematic level (Arturo Carol Quintavalle, 1980) the various Enzo Mari (six in all) who are known as Tomas Maldonado (1980), Enzo Mari who would be an aesthetic, political and design operator all at the same time (Atenor-Pedio, 1980), Enzo Mari the greatest moral authority in the field of Italian design.

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