Our calendar shows that 2020 is already here, but in Chinese astrology, this year – Year of the Metal Rat- hasn’t begun yet. It will start on January 25 and last till February 11, 2021. Since the Chinese New Year is Lunar, i.e. it’s calculated according to the Lunar calendar, its date varies from year to year. For example, the current year in the Chinese Zodiac – the Year of the Earth Pig, by the way – started on February 5, 2019.
As you probably know, the Rat sign marks the beginning of the Chinese zodiac. Well, astronomy lovers may argue that Chinese Zodiac has nothing to do with what is called Zodiac in Western culture, i.e. imaginary circle of constellations, but let’s not quibble over terms. The Chinese zodiac is actually a 12-year cycle, with an animal sign symbolizing each year.
But why the Chinese symbol of 2020 is called ‘metal’? It’s because each year its animal symbol is associated with one of the five elements: metal, water, wood, fire, or earth. For example, 1984 was the year of Wood Rat, 1996 – of the Fire Rat, 2008 – of the Earth Rat, and 2032 will be the year of Water Rat.
According to Chinese philosophy, these elements go one after another in the never-ending circle: metal produces water; water grows wood; wood gets burnt in the fire; fire becomes ash, i.e. earth; and earth gives rise to metal.
For Bellavista Collection, Chinese New Year is a really noteworthy date. Despite being a purely Italian company-manufacturer of Italian luxury furniture, Bellavista Collection loves Chinese culture, which quite predictably affects the design of the brand’s items.
Dulcechina Collection – 12 remarkable pieces created in 2018 – was a great success when displayed at the 57th edition of the Milan Furniture Fair, a prestigious trade show that takes place since 1961. Now the former showpieces turned into very popular products, placed in a separate section of the company’s website.
Attilio Zanni, Bellavista’s brilliant designer and the company’s co-founder, once said that while creating Dulcechina Collection, he was fascinated with the irresistible charm of Orient. Mr. Zanni has managed to combine Eastern and Western motifs so expertly that these items will be perceived as beautiful in any place on the globe. His designs make the most of the natural beauty of materials: wood, leather, fabric, glass, and, of course, metal.
Bellavista professionals often have to deal with metals, such as bronze, brass and aluminum.
Cast brass and aluminium are obvious favorites – craftsmen love them for grand looks and workability. Brass and aluminium are cast using sand-casting and lost wax casting – the techniques which are millennia old! Bellavista uses the first process.
To make metal details even more attractive, a variety of finishes, i.e. decorative and protective coatings, are applied onto metal. Along with antique bronze finish, which is the favorite, there also are black patina, silver leaf, gold leaf, and others.
In fact, there are very few pieces with no metal parts in the brand’s inventory. Almost all of them – be it furniture pieces, boiserie, or decorative items – have details made of metal. Some of them, such as famous Bellavista’s cast brass statuettes, are made entirely of metal.
Structures of lighting fixtures are made mostly of metal, too. Look, for example, at YISHI sconce or ISABELLA floor lamp from Dulcechina Collection – don’t their metal structures look grand? Cast brass with antique bronze finish perfectly matches the lampshades material – raffia (ISABELLA) and amber glass (YISHI).
The round sign with an Oriental pattern (its image marks Dulcechina Collection category on Bellavista’s website) is also made of cast brass with antique bronze finish. You can see it on some Dulcechina furniture pieces, such as TAO coffee table and TAO bench.
Well, TAO table is actually two tables, so different its size options are. You can have this table made either 52×50 centimeters (19.4 in x 20.5 inches) and 50 cm high, or 182 x 90 cm. (71.7 in x 35.4 in.) and 37 cm. (14.6 in) high. Its structure is available in seven kinds of wood – four kinds of oak and three kinds of walnut. TAO bench also offers a variety of wood options: five kinds of oak and three kinds of walnut. The cozy seating cushion and the seating pillow (optional) could be upholstered in either fabric or leather.
In actual fact, when producing its eye-catching furniture, Bellavista makes good use of various metals. If you browse through just one product category – coffee and side tables – you will see it for yourself.
Many of these remarkably diverse tables have a considerable volume of metal in their structure – just look at EROS, FRANCIS, OSCAR, or KUBRIK, or the massive hammered brass leg of TULIPE LOW. Decorative spheres that serve as legs in BALLS table are made of cast brass with antique bronze finish.
Also, a number of the tables is made of materials other than wood. A striking BOUQUET BOIS has a round tabletop 60 cm (23.6in.) in diameter, made of 15-mm thick extra clear glass, and three crisscrossed three legs in cast brass with a hammered antique bronze finish.
And what’s more, some of Bellavista’s tables are all-metal! A round three-legged BATISTA table could be made of cast aluminum or cast brass, with different finishes for each option. This table is available in three forms of its tabletop (round, oval, and square) and four sizes.
One more example of a furniture item made entirely of metal is HOLE. This cylindrical-shaped table is made of either brushed stainless steel, antique bronze, or Nero finish – all three options are equally eye-catching. This item is special because, unlike other pieces, designed by Attilio Zanni, HOLE was designed by Ilan Waisbrod, – a well-known Israeli-born product and interior designer, the founder of Studio GAIA in New York City.
As you see, metal is not only strong material – it’s also has a beauty of its own. Let’s appreciate this beauty in the Year of the Metal Rat!