Ulisse e Penelope
Furniture "by recycling"
This is a furniture project that I had in mind for a long while, as my firm was consuming rolls after rolls of plotter paper, leaving behind many empty rolls. The simplicity of the roll was very attractive to me and, for a long while, I kept accumulating them at my place, with the idea of doing a piece of furniture.
Another "passion" of mine is sitting on stools. Thus, I decided of creating a 3-feet tall stool, with the empty plotter rolls kept together by a lace or similar. As I was thinking of an idea for a personal piece of furniture, that might even tell my story as an immigrant, I thought of how many times I felt like Ulysses, the Homeric character in ancient Greece. I studied his story, and even translated it from Greek, during the years at Liceo Classico, my Italian High School. One episode always attracted me more than any other: Ulysses and the Sirens, when our hero wants to listen to the dangerous songs of the Sirens. This mythical creatures would attract sailors with their sweet voice, but once the sailors would get close, they would attack and kill them. Despite the danger, Ulysses managed to listen to their beautiful voice and survive, by asking his travel buddies to tie him with tight ropes, at the center of the boat, and sail through the Stretto di Messina. His buddies would have their ears full of wax, to protect them from the enchanting songs and skip the Siren's trick.
Every time I visit Italy, I feel like Ulysses and the Sirens: everything around me is beautiful, and every place seems telling me to come back, to relax in Italy. Yet, I want to be in the US, thus... please tie me tight to my return plane! I want to visit Italy, for sure, but then leave and keep following my American way.
Thus, the idea of a straw rope, to tie tight the rolls, and keep them from falling apart - and potentially hurt me a lot!
The first week of using my stool was quite satisfactory, but I knew that it was not "The End" yet. If anything, I needed a pillow, as the stool was very hard. The idea came immediately to my mind: my stool needed something soft, and my Ulisse needed his Penelope! She was the patient wife left at home, waiting for her husband to return home. Penelope is the symbol of faithfulness, never convinced -not even after 20 years of wait!- that her husband was dead. She always hoped, and stayed single, in a continuous state of (hopeful) mourning. For the pillow, I recycled a pillow and make it in the round shape I needed, then I added two touches to make it "Penelope-like". I took an unused mosquito net, reminding of a widow's veil, and the remaining of a bright orange strip, as a symbol of hope. Then assembled everything and I was done.
Ulisses e Penelope, my recycled furniture project was done. Enjoy the pics!