An Oxacan saying about mezcal is “for each misfortune: mezcal; for all good fortunes: pour me another one!” Mezcal accompanies weddings and funerals, falling in love and falling out of love. It is a drink that contains many contradictions. The strong mexican liqueur made from maguey is served with orange slices and red powdered chilli pepper: a visually striking combination of ingredients accompanying a delicately flavoured drink.
The contrasts and contradictions that mezcal has around it was an inspiration for creating a set for serving the drink while elevating it’s properties.
In Mexico, colour is used abundantly. Intense oranges, reds, contrasting greens and blues inspired by the sun, plants, fruits, the sea and nature in general are represented as strik- ing colour and pattern. The most eye-catching combinations come from oppositions.
Van Gogh in a letter to his brother stated: “‘Cobalt (blue) is a divine colour and there is nothing so beautiful for putting atmosphere around things …” Impressionists suggest, by placing blue next to orange/yellow the visual intensity of each colour gets enhanced. Much like in Mexican patterns.
For serving mezcal, the electric blue tableware acts as an impressionist companion. In order to intensify the orange colour of the fruit and spices, the set is made from cobalt blue glass and porcelain. (When the orange colour is amplified, our taste perception would get effected positively as well.) The tableware and the contents are created to bring the intensity out of orange slices and mimic the bright colour contrasts used in Mexican culture. But only when the set is being used this effect comes to life.
The material for the plate is created by pounding pigmented porcelain clay together in order to create a pointillist colour mixing effect. The experimental process creates a result visually similar to granite or stone with a semi-controlled visual pattern. The designer is currently exploring the high fired ceramic material she developed in making furniture while using colour and colour mixing as a functional tool for design.
Blue Mezcal is designed for the project “Take the Winter Coat Off” organised by Sara Pereyra where Finland based designers explore Mexican culture through design. The products debuted at Helsinki’s Lokal gallery. And will be exhibited in Kukuruchos, Guadalajara and Mexico City during design week.
Erin Turkoglu is a Helsinki based designer. MA Student at Aalto University.