The “Era uma vez” collection of glass vases is made of four pieces of different sizes, created from the record of the fables my grandmother told me when I was a child, captured in digital audio files, which were used as reference for the digital modeling of the vases. The result of the process is the core of the forms which, through the artisanal glassblowing technique, materialize my childhood memories. The use of discarded glass shards contribute to the sense of a life cycle.
These four glass vases reflect Estudio Guto Requena’s interest in the design process and projects inspired by affective memory and the rich Brazilian culture and recent history, as well as the reevaluation of artisanal heritage. These objects represent the investigation of creative design processes which benefit from the possibilities offered by new digital technologies, as well as make use of cyberculture concepts.
My grandmother taught English in countryside São Paulo State. During my childhood in Sorocaba, I frequently gathered with my cousins around her to listen, completely mesmerized, to her storytelling, which frequently included traditional fables from all around the world. A skilled raconteur, she held us under a spell through the vivid details of her narrative and the rich nuances of her voice, at times thrilling, at times joyful. These striking shared memories trail after me ever since.
My grandmother is 85 years old now, and inspiringly lucid. In 2011 I decided to record some of her most remarkable stories. Every trip to visit her in the countryside became an opportunity to revive my familiar childhood rituals. It was a memorable time travel which brought up the memories of my grandmother’s old house, its sounds and scents, as well as fresh discoveries.
I chose to materially perpetuate four of these tales: “The Wind and the Sun”, “The Wren and the Owl”, “A party in heaven” and “The Dove and the Ant”. Having recorded the tales in four different mp3 audio files, we initiated the programming process at Estudio Guto Requena, through the computer software Processing. After thorough analysis of multiple possibilities we opted for a programming which interpreted the audio file in a bidimensional curve. This curve visually represents the narrative and drama of the storytelling; it materializes whispers, emotions and tones of my grandmother’s voice.
The next step was to transform the curve in a tridimensional volume. Through a simple gesture, made possible by computer software Rhino 3D, we rotated the curve and revolved it 360° around an axis, thus generating the final form of the vase. The final forms were therefore reached through parametric modeling, which used the audio-generated image as parameter. For each story an exclusive curve, 3D object and size. Each vase is the volumetric materialization of one of the four fables.
The Wind and the Sun
The Wind and the Sun were always disputing which was the strongest.
One day, they saw a traveler coming down the road and the Sun said:
"I see a way to settle the matter. The one of us who can make that traveler take off his cloak has the right to be called the strongest”.
You begin !
So the Sun went behind a cloud and the Wind began to blow as hard as he could upon the traveler.
But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak around him, until, at last, the Wind had to give up.
Then the Sun came out and shone in his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on, and took it off.
With violence we don't get anything in this world, but with the heat of love and goodness!
The Wren and the Owl
Once upon a time, the litle Wren, a small European bird, was sick and lost all her feathers.
She was very sad and asked the other birds to give her some of theirs.
They were all very glad to give them, except the Owl, who was selfish and said crossly:
"No, I cannot give you any.
For there will soon be snow, and I'll need them."
When the King of Birds heard this, he was very angry with the selfish Owl and said:
"Because you have been so selfish I'll punish you severely. From this day, you will always be cold and leave your nest only by night and if you fly by day all the other birds will peck at you." (As you know, owls can't see during the day).
And from that day on, the Owl has never left off crying "Hou, hou" as if she was dying of cold.
We must be generous and good with everyone.
A party in Heaven
There would be a party in Heaven. It was an angel's birthday, I suppose, but only the guests who had wings: - birds, owls, butterflies, etc. - could go to the event.
The toad, who loved parties, went crazy when he heard of the event, for he wanted to go there, too.
But a toad has no wings, so he began to think how he would be able to go to the party.
It just so happened that the vulture was going to play the guitar at the party and the toad, very smartly, entered into the guitar and stayed very quiet and well hidden.
Arriving in Heaven, every guest greeted and congratulated the little angel for his birthday.
The vulture left the guitar on a corner and went, too.
The toad then came outside the guitar and went to dance, sing and eat the delicious sweets.
When everything finished, the toad ran quickly, to hide inside the guitar again. The vulture said good bye to everyone, took the guitar and came back flying, with the other guests.
In the middle of the way, he heard a low noise inside the guitar and was very suspicious.
He then turned the hole of the guitar down, and the toad slipped and fell, fell until... Smash! He smashed himself and broke into pieces. He didn't die, but his back was full of wrinkles forever and he became very ugly.
We must accept ourselves just like God made us.
The ant and the dove
Once upon a time, a hunter was walking in a forest, when looking up he saw a little dove among the branches of a tree.
He took his rifle and when he raised the gun to shoot the bird, an ant that was there, walking around, saw the gesture of the man and felt pity of the dove.
The ant went up on hunter's leg and bit it hard. The man's hand trembled and he didn't get to hit the bird and with the noise the dove flew away.
Time passed, and one day the ant was working on a high grove when suddenly, it slipped and fell into the river.
The ant was desperate, began to cry because it didn't know, how to swin and was going to die.
By chance, that same dove that the ant had saved, was flying over the river and saw the poor ant. What did it do?
It took a leaf from a tree and let it fall, gently, on the river near the ant.
So the dove could save the ant's life that went up the leaf and with the light wind reached the land.