Trinket box, 'Eucalyptus pod', sterling silver, designed by Angiolo Logi, made by Puzzle Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia, 1984
Resembling the hard, ligneous pod of the mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa), this sterling silver gumnut box was designed in 1984 by Italian-Australian architect and silver designer, Angiolo Logi. His idea for the piece developed during family camping trips to Western Australia and western New South Wales where the mottlecah is found.
Migrating from Florence, Italy, to Sydney, Australia, in 1979, Angiolo and his wife, Ilaria Cornaggia, established the silver workshop, 'Puzzle', in the inner-city suburb of Paddington. Here they employed a small team of silversmiths who used traditional techniques to produce Angiolo's Australian-inspired forms. Over the next twenty years, Angiolo and Ilaria would travel regularly around Australia, often with their good friend and landscape photographer, Wesley Stacey, fuelling their interest in local plants and animals and generating ideas for their designs.
While Angiolo sketched and modelled his designs and ran the workshop, Ilaria managed the adjoining gallery that sold the Puzzle merchandise. It also stocked a small range of imported Italian silver by designers, such as Brandimarte, De Vecchi, Pampaloni and Gatto Bianco. Until its closure in 2006, Puzzle remained a popular source of high-quality souvenirs and corporate gifts though also appealed to collectors and the general public.
Italian-Australian silversmith, Angiolo Logi, designed this sterling silver gumnut box in 1984 at his studio in Paddington, Sydney. He began all his projects in the same manner, making numerous sketches and models before resolving design and fabrication issues with his small team of silversmiths.
Logi preferred to cast his pieces in limited numbers, using the 'lost wax' technique. In this process, a mould of the silver prototype is cast in rubber and injected with hot wax, creating a direct copy of the original. The wax copy is then encased in a plaster mould and fired, causing the wax to be 'lost' or to melt away while leaving a negative impression behind. Molten silver is poured from a crucible into the mould, which is broken and removed once the metal has cooled. Before it is finished, the silver item is cleaned, filed, sanded and polished.
Angiolo and Ilaria Logi (1954-2009) migrated from Italy to Australia in 1979, and established a silver workshop, 'Puzzle', in the Sydney suburb of Paddington. Puzzle produced a broad range of Australian-inspired items that became popular as corporate gifts and souvenirs. Following the closure of Puzzle in 2006, the Logis donated this and several other items to the Powerhouse Museum.