Martino Gamper

This week, we reached out to our friend and collaborator, Martino Gamper, an internationally-renowned Italian designer based in London. We suspect the set of Acqua e Vino glasses he designed for us might be the 'Permanent Collection object' for many—but we wondered what personal belonging he would nominate for himself.

Martino Gamper: A ventifact, a stone shaped by sand. It’s from a beach in New Zealand and was a present from my dear friends Jeremy and Sashel.

Permanent Collection: Tell us the story of this stone.

M.G.: I think it takes several hundred years for a ventifact to form. For a time, such stones were all over the beaches in New Zealand. They are now quite rare and need just the right conditions to form: strong winds that blow non-stop in one direction and an endless supply of sand, which the wind uses as an abrading agent. In such environments, ordinary stones start to take on extraterrestrial shapes. This stone is from Taranaki, a long, desolate sand beach. Jeremy lived with it for many years before giving it to me. He knew I coveted the object and one day he turned up with it.
P.C.: What a good friend! And what a beautiful object—such an unusual shape...

M.G.: For a long time people assumed these types of objects were manmade and it wasn’t until fairly recently they’ve realized ventifacts are actually made by nature. This piece also reminds me of Taranaki beach, one of my favorite places in New Zealand.