Carlo Trucchi Crafts Cosmic Furniture from Alloys and Alchemy

Italian artist-designer Carlo Trucchi’s surname translates as “tricks”—but as visitors to the Erastudio Apartment-Gallery booth at Design Miami/ Basel 2015 will see, there is much more to his fine workmanship than magic. Trucchi operates according to a subtle understanding of material and an inventive approach to form. 

The trompe l’oeil table Apparecchiato Per Due (Set For Two, 2015) certainly plays with its audience. From a distance, the darkened concrete tabletop appears to have been set with the proper accoutrements, but on closer inspection it becomes clear that the antique Limoges porcelain, linen napkins, and brass cutlery are sealed beneath a thick layer of clear resin. The careful arrangement is preserved for many convivial dinner times—what architect and gallerist Patrizia Tenti of Erastudio calls “fossilized furniture.”

  • Carlo Trucchi’s Tuscany studio. Courtesy Carlo Trucchi and Erastudio Apartment-Gallery.

  • Carlo Trucchi’s Tuscany studio. Courtesy Carlo Trucchi and Erastudio Apartment-Gallery.

Trucchi considers his studio in Tuscany to be a “laboratory” where nature fuses with finely crafted objects. He has been collaborating with the Milan-based gallery on one-off domestic objects since 2012. The Apparecchiato table’s mix of found vintage items and solid elements is typical of the collection’s style, as Trucchi reuses materials that carry the beauty-spots of the past, and applies specially developed techniques to imbue surfaces with further patina. “The encounter between resins and between the varied metals and their alloys was almost spontaneous—it felt automatic,” he says of his intuitive methodology. “This merging of materials allowed me to further venture into the use of unstable substances and methods such as oxidation.” 

This natural oxidation of brass is a lengthy, hand-done process that involves placing metals underground and exposing them to the elements, resulting in imprints of leaves and water marks. More unique metal workmanship is evident in the Ovum Aureum table (2013): an iron egg with a serrated copper strip down its center, whose surface is refined by brushing with metallic powder to get a gold finish, a technique called doratura a caldo. Trucchi claims the technique is inspired by alchemy. Perhaps the designer does have some mysterious tricks up his sleeve after all. 

—Hannah Gregory

Visit Erastudio Apartment Gallery at Design Miami/ Basel 2015, Galleries, Booth G28, June 16–21.

Explore Design Miami/ Basel 2015 on Artsy

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