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The exhibition “Metaphors” plays with the shapes and colours of nature, from which Paola Paronetto’s art draws inspiration. This “game” becomes all the more significant in the setting that it is being hosted: the ADI Design Museum – Compasso d’Oro, also the outcome of a transformation that here celebrates Design as an expression of productivity and ingenuity, a metaphor of a time dedicated to work. Paronetto’s art, all unique pieces made one by one, are created to evoke the same matter of the heavens, the earth and all that in nature from which they draw their inspiration. This is how some of her renowned collections such as Pistilli, Ninfea, Anemones, Bosco, Tucano, Cactus, Tulipano and Vulcano, as well as the new series Ranuncoli, shown here for the first time, were born. Once again, it is the shapes of nature that inspire the new collection of paper clay objects created by Paola Paronetto. The image of buttercups, with their generous crowns and dancing stems, suggests small daring structures and imaginative balances that acknowledge, as always in Paola’s work, imperfections, asymmetries and irregularities. Forcing the limits of the material as she loves to do, Paola bends her technique to rotundity, creating a family of objects that have the grace of a wild flower and the sanctity of a chalice. As light and thin as paper, yet full-bodied and sculptural, they are born of alchemies that are impossible to replicate, so that each has its own soul and a small creative story to tell. Then there are the colours, which Paola conceives as full and opaque, free to interpret the shapes imaginatively, almost always inspired by the natural universe, sometimes by the world of fantasy. It incites the desire to mix shapes and colours in the most variegated and spontaneous way, just as they occur so wonderfully in nature. The beauty in metaphors is their escape from the logic of rational language. They are not mere similarities. They do not speak of likenesses already present in reality but elicit them by drawing on the irrationality of dreams and poetry elsewhere.


Paola Paronetto lives and works in the place in where her roots lie, the Friulian countryside. She acquired a feeling for the medium from her sculptor grandfather, but her real fascination with ceramics was born in Gubbio. Her training continued in Deruta, Faenza, Florence… pivotal locations of ceramic heritage in Italy, where she perfected the main techniques of clay craftsmanship. Curious to experiment with unconventional approaches, she drew inspiration from ancient techniques such as sealed earth and raku, reinterpreting them and making them her own each time.

By focusing in particular on the technique of paper clay, in 2010 Cartocci came to life, a multiform collection of slender and intense objects, born in an artisan workshop but infinitely close to art and design. Today her work is renowned and esteemed throughout the world. Her works in paper clay are presented in prestigious design galleries and international museums and are exhibited in the showrooms of some of the most prestigious Italian design companies such as: Zanotta, Moroso, Lema, Lago, B&B Italia and many others.