Never before have I worn anything that has stopped people in their tracks like my golden amphora. Made by my brilliant friend Rita J. King, these pendants are inspired by the sunken treasures in the waters near Ischia. It is in these same waters that Odysseus encountered the sirens. While the concept is rooted in the ancient world, these pieces are realized with 3D printing, a technology that will be a normal part of our lives in the not so distant future.
(Who caught the Elena Ferrante reference?)
"My great-grandmother was born on the volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea where Odysseus encountered the Sirens. The island's ancient name has long since been updated to Ventonene, which means windy. During the hottest part of the day, when the fierce wind was calm, the Sirens would make their appearance on black volcanic rocks in emerald green coves. They sang about the future.
Recently, five ancient shipwrecks, each carrying cargo within shipping containers known as amphorae, were discovered in the sea around Ventotene. The amphorae were marvels of engineering, but they sometimes broke during powerful storms, causing ships to sink quickly. A dangerous expedition was launched to recover a few of the amphorae from the floor of the sea. The rest remain stacked to this day. Another ancient shipwreck was discovered in January, 2015, containing a mysterious, legendary ancient metal, orichalcum, said to have originated from the mythical island of Atlantis. A team of divers now say they've recovered 39 blocks of orichalcum in a sixth century shipwreck on the seafloor near Sicily. The line between myth and reality gets blurred when the sea is involved.
As a futurist from the island of the Sirens, I wanted to bring some of the treasure back into the "real world," that place where I work and live. I designed my amphorae and commissioned a 3D version from Mike Tyka, a Google engineer who designed Groovik's Cube and once exhibited his Angel of Death at Science House, where my studio is located. I started experimenting with 3D printing in various materials, including yellow, white and rose gold, platinum and silver. Every day, someone would ask for an amphorae, so I created commissioned designer Oliver Uberti, co-author of he gorgeous and provocative book, London: The Information Capital, to work with me to bring my vision to life. Oliver designed the mermaid glyph and collaborated on the packaging, which is designed to give the the experience of discovering your own treasure in the wild sea."
In collaboration with Feast On History, Rita has created an exclusive "Tears of Parthenope" necklace. Read more about the inspiration here.