Back in September, while in Toronto to deliver a keynote presentation at IIDEX, Luca Nichetto met with John Baker and Julie Daoust Baker of Mjölk, a gallery-showroom in the trendy Junction neighbourhood known for its flawless taste in Japanese and Scandinavian design. Nichetto, who splits his time between his native Venice and Stockholm, had heard about the shop from Claesson Koivisto Rune, the Swedish trio that collaborated with Mjölk on the Ceremony tea set last year.
As with that project, Nichetto’s Sucabaruca collection involved the expertise of local artisans: ceramicist Alissa Coe and woodworker Adrian Kuzyk. He designed the vessels and tray, and Coe and Kuzyk have created prototypes that will debut on January 22, on the eve of a retrospective of Nichetto’s work in the showroom as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. A limited edition will be available for purchase later in the year.
Nichetto’s inspiration for the collection comes from his hometown – and its famous Caffè Florian. “I immediately came up with the idea of designing a coffee set that aims to combine the modern ritual of filtered coffee, which unites several countries including North America and Scandinavia, with the renowned tradition of my land, where coffee has been a cult drink for centuries,” he says.
The vessels’ shapes – especially that of the coffee pot – were also drawn from his Italian background, namely an animated character named Carosello who starred in the 1960s television series Carmencita. “Just like in a game, the set elements can be stacked and combined as desired, indulging in the different personalities offered by the colour palettes,” Nichetto explains. They come in a stark white inspired by the fashion designer Martin Margiela and pastels reminiscent of Japanese architecture. He says that eventually they will also be available in pop colours – as “a tribute to the eclectic artist Jean-Paul Goude”.
Even with these retro influences, the finished pieces are unreservedly modern, with a geometric pattern that feels lovingly crafted. “The patterns, hand-engraved in the ceramic, are meant to emphasize the uniqueness of the pieces, as well as for the tray, manufactured using materials such as Canadian maple wood, which always reveal new and unique patterns when carved,” he says. Walnut pegs on the bottom of the tray allow it to float above the table surface.