Elica, sensual matter


Design by Prospero Rasulo

The search for a sign that could summarise different memories: the drape of Hellenic sculptures, the twisted trunks of monumental olive trees, and the dynamism of Boccioni’s sculptures. A sign that encloses the idea of strength and motion in a monolithic shape. Its involving appeal invites the onlooker to circle it to discover an ever different shape.» Describing his table Elica for Zanotta (design 2009), Prospero Rasulo cannot avoid a moment charged with poetical emotion. The table, which is the outcome of technological research on the use of a composite material such as Cristalplant® (mineral-packed polyester resins), combines the elegance of a plastic line and practical use. The real heart of the project lies in the base, whose new generation material allows to obtain a sinuous shape with sculptural torsions. It is used with full, shaped volumes in Elica. Cristalplant® combines a high natural mineral load and a low dose of extremely pure polyester and acrylic polymers. It is inert, hypoallergenic and non toxic. First used especially for sanitaryware (for its technical and aesthetic properties) when it was launched on the market, it is now highly successful even in the sector of interior design for the living area. «We chose it to create items whose shape can be formed flawlessly with a perfectly homogeneous design», say the managers of Zanotta’s technical department. «It is a phenomenal material. Flexible and resistant, it is practically indestructible. Unlike other compounds that, once scratched or chipped, remain marked by the defect, Cristalplant® (being a solid surface) can be easily restored with sponges and abrasive cleaners. The surface remains velvet-like and pleasant to touch». Shapes are obtained through “low-pressure” moulding in composite moulds with a process that resembles injection moulding, and which creates either cut or pasted volumes (welding is done with the same material and is perfectly camouflaged). Hence, the designer finds neither dimensional nor shape limits. The finish, which is implemented with very fine sand paper, makes the surface soft and similar to natural stone. The colour chosen for Elica is matt white for the base. The top can be made of either Carrara marble or extraclear, acidated crystal painted in the shade of white (8 mm thickness). The top is fixed to the base with steel pawls. Available as oval and round models in two different sizes, the table Rasulo’s frame has an organic shape, which the designer says «is consistent with its role, since the loops of the base perfectly embrace the seated body. Material thickness is studied to support the stress of the table, and its sensual aesthetic simplicity does not need many words: depth without reflections, like pure matter».