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Mid-Century Modern2486 of 2660more flea picks!mid century American enamel & mid century studio pottery
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Posted 6 years ago


(675 items)

I'm hoping that someone can help me with this item. I bought it at the Salvo's about five years back. At the time I was collecting metalware of various types, but mostly stainless steel. This dish/plate/bowl was different.

Different can sometimes mean good! Sometimes.....

It needed a bit of a clean. There was some 'blu tack' attached and the 'gold band' around the edge looked like it could shine up. So I got out some tooth picks and removed the 'blu tack' goo and used a silver cloth on the band. To my surprise the band immediately brightened with no effort at all! It was not made out of steel it looked like it was aluminium, maybe zinc covered in a bright red enamel.

The pattern of round perforations is called "the 60° staggered pattern" and is the most popular distribution as it offers greater structural strength and has the most versatile range of open area.

"The smallest hole size that is practical to be perforated depends on the thickness and type of material to be used. As a general rule for carbon steel and aluminum, the diameter of the hole should not be smaller than the thickness of the material. As the hole size approaches the thickness of the metal (1:1), the process becomes critical and tooling breakage and quality failures become more and more probable"

It's 23 cm in diameter ..... that's 9 inches.

I was rather impressed with it. It looked industrial.
Meccano memories: Frank Hornby in 1901!

I put it on a stand and it looked good on its own: it's see through, a bit blurred, a mesh with a rim. It is no longer bright red. The colour changes.
It looked good with objects in front of it as well. It framed them.

One Saturday morning a few years before I had missed out on an Alessi plate at the Surry Hills market. Someone had sold it to a dealer friend for $20. The visual memory of that plate/bowl designed in 1992 by Susan Cohn Bowl, 'Cohncave', steel /stainless steel was ignited. Susan Cohn is an Australian jeweller from Melbourne. She was the first Australian to be brought into the Italian Alessi design team.

"In Australia’s hot climate food has traditionally been protected from flies by mesh covers and meat safes. Cohn first developed the association between mesh and food with a limited edition of coloured aluminium mesh fruit bowls — the precursor to the perforated steel Cohncave manufactured by Alessi since 1992. Cohn has developed other food-related mesh vessels, both one-off and production pieces, which use combinations of coloured mesh to generate unique patterns."

I wonder if .......?

Researching this little tale has brought me new insight into perforated steel and its history which goes back to the 1860's. And then this morning I found a blog that went into influence of Josef Hoffmann in creating objects with perforations. It ends with perforations in Nike footwear and begins with objects from the Wiener Werkstatte 1900.

"Perforated design, then, is an aesthetic, and a pretty unique one at that. It’s our answer to formal embellishment, or undecorated decoration. Rather than tacking things onto an object, as one would with clay sculpture, this handling is purely reductive, like carving marble. In the case of perforated design, the object itself is the decoration."

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  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Thanks BeauxPurdy and BELLIN68!
  2. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
    The piece is amazing, but what I love most of all is all about your research and the data you're giving us... you're incredible, vetraio!
  3. AmberRose AmberRose, 6 years ago
    V, when I first saw your photo, I thought food safe. This was before reading your post. (great minds :)) How deep is this bowl? The photos make it look a little too shallow. Too shallow? Strainer for pasta? Unusual Asian pot??
    Austro is correct, your research is terrific. Someday you will have to share all of your resources. Have a wonderful day V, my five year old just woke me up at 4:30 am holding his Thomas train and yelling for Thomas. I lost rock, paper scissor with the hubby and got up. Going to be a long day, but will be able to stop by some of my favorite thrifts. As usual will keep you posted!
  4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Thanks Belli, austro and you too AmberRose!
    When I had another look at it I started to think it might have been one of her prototypes. It is rather shallow. Good luck with the hunt. It looks like the weather's all askew. In Europe I've heard there's a real cold front approaching!

    Have a look at the Alessi version. It really is an amazing piece.
  5. AmberRose AmberRose, 6 years ago
    The other question I would do you lift it off your plate? Need a handle or something. Like the link!
  6. AmberRose AmberRose, 6 years ago
    I only think of these things because I like to eat and dislike bugs :}
  7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Perhaps it's not just a way of keeping flies off the food. To me it's just playing around with the design potential of metal. They have made a solid object semi transparent. See through. How it is done is quite complex. The perforation changes the object and it becomes something else.
    In Australia in the early days you perforated metal with a not so complex hammer and a nail. They put patterns into the sheet metal too. No refrigeration. Meat safes that kept out unwanted pests. But the perforations still became decorative folk art.
    I'm sure it was the same in the US.
    Form and function.
    The Cohncave bowl is just a decorative bowl that creates shape from light.
  8. AmberRose AmberRose, 6 years ago
    Yes, as you know I have spent a lot of time in the land down Under. A friend of mine in Sydney has her family food safe, with that great decorative nail work. She was using it as a dresser for her daughter. We call them them pie safes here.
    V, I am an engineer and can certainly appreciate the workmanship. You would be shocked by how elegant some pieces of industrial equipment are that go into oil refineries etc. Metal tooling is an art.
  9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Many thanks BeauxPurdy, huntwitch & PhilDavidAlexanderMorris too!
  10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Many thanks czechman!
  11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Many thanks packrat-place too!
  12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Thanks SEAN!
  13. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks MOONSTONELOVER!
  14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks BRATJDD!

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