Alessi Nuvem – Wire Sculpture at its Best

Alessi Nuvem - Wire Sculpture at its Best
by Axel W.

Nuvem is a collection of objects formed from aluminum wire, spun and squashed into different household items. But that engineering description doesn’t begin to describe this daring concept. It’s an interesting blend of art and functional object, achieved with rare skill.

Years in development, there were the usual artistic struggles, of course. Add to that the difficulty of creating economical objects that were also functional. A daunting task. The results show that they have succeeded marvelously.

Consider something as elementary as a table placemat. It might serve as a means of protecting a table. Yet, what will protect the table against the wire mat? To accomplish that, and to make a beautiful object in such a simple form requires true artistry combined with stellar engineering. This has been achieved and the result is a simple yet alluring household item.

The Alessi Nuvem Wire Mat (AFC12, produced from anodized aluminum) is available in its natural color, gold, or blue. Each sub-model exhibits the distinctive asymmetry that makes this item delightfully different. With dimensions of approximately 43cm x 37 cm (17″ x 14.5″) at the widest points, is far from a simple rectangle. It’s more like an amorphous cloud that has come to rest on your table.

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For a more complex object based on the same idea, Alessi reached for the humble Wire Flower Vase (AFC13). The vase base is 10cm x 10 cm (4″ x 4″) and it stands 17 cm (7″) high. That size is perfectly utilitarian. But the opportunities it presents for decorative ingenuity are endless. As an objet d’art in the front entrance hall it would have no peer. As a centerpiece on the dining room table it would create an unrivaled look.

With its open-wire frame, the vase isn’t designed to hold water though it can be used as the outer shell of a glass cylinder or rectangle. Still, it works perfectly for artificial flowers, as a container for potpourri, for colored glass balls, or many other decorating ideas. The integration of the abstract design and the functional purpose makes this one of Alessi’s best conceptual realizations.

The company didn’t rest on its laurels. It went still further. It created the Alessi Wired Citrus Basket (AFC11) like no other. Here, the aesthetic and the practical work together in perfect harmony. Mediocre engineering would have resulted in disaster. Artistic sloppiness would have ruined a promising idea. By sheer will the designers achieved a perfect balance.

This fruit basket is available in natural aluminum color, blue, or gold. Use it as the centerpiece of your table. Place it near the front entrance. Set one in a corner of the bath to hold some herbal stalks. Highlight it on a table in the office. Wherever you use this Nuvem product you will find the room brightening from the sheer energy of this objet d’art.

The unmatched integration of art and function achieved in the Alessi Nuvem line created an object now housed in the MOMA in New York. Make one a part of your collection and you’ll generate the same buzz seen at the placement ceremony.

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