Erica Volpini

Italian graphic designer and student at Piet Zwart

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A new me: The Teacup.

I arrived here the 3rd of September. I arrived in Rotterdam the 3rd of September and the first thing I wanted was a cup of tea. Tea always relaxes me. So, Vlad, one of my new flatmates gave me The Teacup.

Well, it was the 2nd, but I had to transfer me and my boxes twice by train (from Eindhoven to Rotterdam and back) and finally I was in my new house, with my new room and my new housemates at 01:00 a.m. of the 3rd of September.

Fortunately Vlad, one of the flatmates, was awaken, to welcome me. He showed me the kitchen and said: "This is my teacup, this is Paul's, and THIS is yours.". It was perfect: the moment, the teacup, everything.

I started my new life here in Rotterdam with this beautiful object: white colored, with some light blue decorations I like to call "eyes", and a red stripe on the bottom. From that night, It's always in my room, in front of the window.

After few weeks, it became for me a powerful symbol. The symbol of my selforganized life alone. It gave some personality to my desk and, watching out through the windows -bringing my eyes away from the laptop light to the outside world- I alays encounter the lightblue eyes of my teacup. It became a presence.

One day I took a picture of it. It was just a lazy afternoon and I had to stay at home reading; but the day was bright. The Teacup was there as usual, just beside my Basilicum and Rosmarine. I took the picture and and thought: "Well, this is me."

Afterwards, it became my profile, literally, on Facebook. Because it was me.

It's not only a teacup, it's the Teacup: it's the first thing I handle in the morning, for the breakfast, then if I'm studying or working it's always with me in my room. Superfluous to say it, but this object created lot of questions in my mind too, it made me think; from the most practical, to the most theoretical ones, like: "How many times do I have to wash it?" or "How can we explain lifes of objects, connected to persons?"

I also started doing research on this topic! Lot of artists worked and are still working on these interesting projects about normal objects, also cheap, not only the designed and expensive ones. The importance of dailylife things, and how can humans give them value.

The Teacup wasn't a special gift, neither it reminds me of someone special or any specific important event. It's a simple cup, but, still, it's The Cup. It's always ready to contain my tea, and it's been created a sort of respectful pact with me: I don't want to use it for others liquid (water or fruitjuice!): only tea.

Now I could open an entire chapter about teas and infusions, but the most important thing is this: whatever the content it is, at the end of the day The Teacup it's always ready to say goodnight to me, gently, with my last Cup of Tea.

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