Human coffee. Milan 1993. It’s any time of day, sometime long ago. Francesco Illy, who I have only recently met but already seems like one of the family, tells me about his idea for an illy Art Collection. Matteo Thun has designed the official cup and Francesco is thinking about having it decorated by professionals and artists. He asks me to produce a cup for the debut series that year. A few days later, I started to think about what we could do. Or rather, I started thinking about it immediately but, as often happens, I leave time for an idea to blossom and open out fully. An ear, yes, an ear, in place of the handle. This was the idea, no ifs, no buts, and, above all, no reason.
Fossil Milan 1997. Fossil is a mistake, a production error. What I wanted to do was make a cast of Thun’s cup, without the handle. The casting didn’t work and the surface was cracked, irregular and primordial looking. After this initial confusion, I began to press pieces of shell onto the surface to enhance the effect, and then made a paleontologically matching handle. This was the idea, this time with a wow! Paolo Rossetti.
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