When I was in Japan, I had a lot of wood products in the house.
Carved and lacquered vases, trays, cutting boards, spoons, ladles and other cutlery...
They were all precise and the alike.
There was a variety of objects, from luxury items to those of simple daily necessity, but what associated them was that they all looked almost the same, as if they were machine made. I'm sure there were some handmade or lathe and others hand carved, but all were impeccably made and exactly the same.
So for me, when I was in Japan, wooden objects were very precise.
Then I came to Italy, but the wood products here didn’t seem as accurate as I used to.
Except the trivial ones that can be said at a glance that they were made with a machine, the handmade products were all quite inhomogeneous. Some had knots, others different grain and different spoon curves, and some had knot holes.
For some time after I arrived in Italy, I thought these wooden products were a little careless and made without love, but over time I’ve come to care of these irregular products.
Perhaps it was around the same moment that I began to love the Italian people, which is aggressive and eclectic, but also lovely and warm.
At first, I was worried because I was among Italians who lived more freely and serenely than in Japan, where people are very formal. It was then that I began to think that it is wonderful to live without being so formal.
Now I have a house full of random but lovely wooden objects that I bought here and there in Italy. Wooden products that are often found in markets and small shops in the countryside.
It was only a year and a half ago that I met Riccardo, the creator of Memories of Italy wooden products.
A mutual friend introduced him to me at our Hands on Design showroom in Milan, a tall young man with shy eyes who was about to hit his head on the upper frame of the front door.
Like a magician, Riccardo took out his works one by one and placed them on the table from a huge bag that only he could carry.
The Stools, the Serving boards, and the little sculptural figurines, each with a different shape, were so cute that I wanted to be a little girl again and play with them, touch them, stack and drop them without thinking about how to use.
We immediately include some of his objects, with high decorative and design value, in Hands on Design collection.
I've been a huge fan of his work ever since.
As you can see from Riccardo's story, he is an architect who trained for many years in a studio in London. He came back to Italy for various reasons and lived alone for six months in a mountain cabin without electricity.
Riccardo says that his experience there made him understand the importance of nature and of a simple and essential life. I think what makes his work so attractive is that he blends the logic of his architectural training with the "heart" that he probably rediscovered while living in a mountain retreat.
In "Memories of Italy", we begin to introduce two types of his Cutting/Serving boards.
These are available in three different sizes.
They are thick enough to stand upright, and together they look like sweet wood carvings that will add warmth to any corner of your home.
The smallest cutting board is lovely...
Just by looking at it or stroking it in your hands, it's so cute you can't help but smile.
This may be called a small work of art rather than a tool for practical use.
The long serving board is also very nice.
This is designed for salami, but is also perfect for cheeses, sushi, snacks or sweets, and comes with a rope loop so you can hang it on the wall when not in use.
Since I came to Italy, I have learned to love irregular wooden objects.
Riccardo's work is growing in my home, among the things I bought in the places where I passed through in different phases of my life, and new memories are already engraved.