Marcel Wanders’ circus-themed tableware for Alessi inspires whimsy and delight

Unveiled by Italian product design powerhouse Alessi, the Circus collection embodies the company’s signature playfulness and wonder. Conceived of by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, this family of objects is inspired by the magic of the circus. Five of these objects are part of the Officina Alessi brand and each represent a particular circus character; they are produced in limited and numbered editions of 999 pieces and nine artist’s proofs. These fanciful figures capture the imagination and tell a unique story, evoking emotion and excitement with their own distinct personality and function.

In creating these pieces, Wanders notes: “The circus is full of wonderful characters, each of whom contributes to the creation of the show. Each character in this iconic series surprises with its own unique personality and specific historical carnival relevance to be treasured.” The five primary characters are: Marcello the Strongman, Gilberto the Jester, Valentina the Ballerina, Marcello the Ringleader, and Alberto the Candyman—he sticks out his tongue to dispense the candy collected in his hat! Each figure is made in Italy of 18/10 stainless steel using several different manufacturing processes including cold metal deformation, three-dimensional laser cutting and the ‘cera persa’ casting method.

Completing the Circus collection are 29 additional new products for the Alessi catalogue. Perfect for both entertaining and everyday use, Circus includes placemats, bowls, round trays, jars, an ice bucket, bottle stands, a wine cooler, salad bowls, mugs, small bowls and containers. The core of the family is made of 18/10 stainless steel, embellished with original decorations. Soldered strips, bone china and glass are also used. Shapes, colours and designs recall the dazzling lights of the stage, the brilliantly hued costumes, and the gaiety of a merry-go-round. Impeccable accents in bright shades and shiny metallics expertly pair ornate beauty with whimsical design. Each piece is characterized by rhomboid, circular, striped and pointed geometrical figures, in a perfect balance of colours, alternating between white, black, yellow, red, gold and silver.

In Wanders’ imagination, the pieces comprising the Circus collection have come to life as theme sculptures destined to become family heirlooms, to be collected and passed on from generation to generation.

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