Zeus and Teti, an odd couple


The outdoor stools by Prospero Rasulo

Zeus and Teti materialize the desire of a project expressed and sought after for a long time: using the earth to create functional sculptures and furnishing objects as multiples of art with Zanotta; the synthesis of the sign is the result of long years of researching the design of volumes». This is how designer Prospero Rasulo, who designed the two coffee tables for Zanotta in 2006, repays the procedure of an exciting work: giving shape to an idea. It had been some time that the company wanted to add a stool-occasional table of a universal shape using the potentials of ceramics in its catalogue. «We wanted to link ceramics to a pleasing and functional sculptural piece easily superimposed», said Daniele Greppi, manager of the Zanotta technical office. «We thought about a professional like Prospero Rasulo, whose artistic creation in the ceramic field and products for the bathroom sector we were both familiar with, where the application of ceramics in other fields is little utilised. The first shapes Rasulo created had very diversified silhouettes. We wanted to develop a research study together that would give strength to “timeless” shapes, objects with expressive magic. Rasulo interpreted this spirit with a highly narrative style and in a somewhat “ethnic” manner (the shaped profile of Zeus and Teti calls to mind African furnishing elements) and with extraordinary evocative power. The production process was planned in a way as to give the ceramic a precious guise of matter via double glazing by hand, which gives a rich coating in the two shades of dark blue and bronze-brown». «The shapes were conceived according to the material and its attractive capability», the designer stated. «The industrial production technologies were steered towards its sublimation, its physicalness. Only the ceramic and the fire could surprise us, treating us to the magic of attraction that Zeus and Teti radiate. Tables, stools, columns, bases, self-representational objects, warm and peaceful icons, signs that coexist with us inside and outside of our spaces». The use of fine porcelain stoneware is essential. It is a material obtained by mixing fine clays, feldspar and silicas. The objects are shaped by casting the body in plaster moulds, and then they are partially dried and treated with salts and enamels (operations entirely done by hand). The firing for vitrifying the body and the enamel gives the surfaces a high degree of resistance. Shrinkage and change in colour of the material in the kilns is not entirely controllable. This results in every specimen being almost unique. Zeus and Teti are part of Zanotta Edizioni, a signed, limited edition collection.