First of all, the brand: SmåtSmåt must be written using an "a" with a ring because it comes from the danish word småt (little). So SmåtSmåt stands for "little little". "We chose this name because we both love Northern Europe, because it has a playful sound and because it's the title of an album by Stefano Bollani, an artist we both love and who came to our minds when we had to choose our brand", explains Giorgia Capoccia, one of the two souls of SmåtSmåt with Nicola Pratali.

Giorgia met Nicola in 2006, when they attended a Master in Multimedia Content Design organized by Univeristy of Florence and then graduated in video post-production. Since 2009 they've been living in Rome, working as video designers and post-producers and collaborating with independent artists in animation and video-art works.

With this background, it could seem a bit odd that last September Giorgia and Nicola launched SmåtSmåt and their 3D-printed jewelry line, but actually it has a lot of sense. "We don't have - says Giorgia - the canonical training in industrial design but we both have, in some way, craftmanship and "making" in our veins. Nicola's father is a very clever wood artisan and I have three generations of professional tailors behind me. So SmåtSmåt comes from a convergence of all these interests, which now can take a "living" form thanks to a wider availability of technologies like 3D printing, before used only in industrial manufacturing. We've been looking for a long time for a way to give a tangible form to many things we had in mind, when Nicola started looking at 3D printing I couldn't do nothing but falling in love with this technology myself".

SmåtSmåt's creations are 3D-printed in nylon using laser sintering. As Giorgia says "We like plastic materials because they are typical of rapid prototyping and therefore a direct expression of the technology we use. Also, plastic lets us creating 'imposing' and excessive shapes like our Deer and Moose rings, two real statement rings. Moreover, plastic and colors make pop and 'easy' even accessories sometimes considered 'difficult'. Like our cufflinks, which now are available in only one model - it was designed following our first customer's request, we liked it so much that we decided to start its production - but we'd like to design in other different shapes".

Giorgia and Nicola design and model their creations with open source software like Inkscape and Blender, then they use a third party service to have them manufactured with laser sintering printers. "In this way - says Giorgia - we can test complex shapes, like a deer or a moose, keeping a very high level of detail. Our next step is trying to become independent also in 3D printing, as soon as possible, adding to what's manufactured by our external service a new line of objects created with extrusion printing, to make even more tests with plastic materials and maybe blending them with more traditional techniques".

SmåtSmåt jewels are inspired by many different things. says Giorgia: "They could be personal memories, feelings or, more simply, we're inspired by what we like and what's around us". Pleiadi necklaces remind Pleiades constellation, but "Pleiadi" was also the title of a schoolbook owned by Giorgia's mother that Giorgia herself, when she was a kid, loved reading. Swallow Ring is linked to another book of her childhood, an illustrated book describing swallows' life during the four seasons. For the Fox Ring, Nicola was inspired by Wes Anderson's visual and narrative style, romantic and contemporary at the same time. "The technology we're using inspires us: a seemingly simple necklace like Impossible Cubes expresses all the beauty and the power of 3D printing because its shape, with no joints o junction points between the little cubes, it's impossibile to create with other techniques".

SmåtSmåt has just started its life, so Giorgia and Nicola are proud of everything they're making, every object has its special meaning. Even those which still aren't on MakeTank, like "A band ring decorated with skulls and made in a special blend of nylon and aluminum: it's been bought by a guy who told us it was the first ring he gave to his partner and this thing, knowing that one of our creations it's a bit of someone's story, made us really happy".

Born in September 2013, SmåtSmåt was just in time to take part in two very important events, for a creative Maker: Maker Faire Rome and Christmas markets. Actually, at Maker Faire Rome Giorgia and Nicola were just "knowledgeable visitors, we hope to participate as Makers in the next edition". But their feelings were nonetheless strong: "To describe our Maker Faire Rome we could use Brian Eno's words about Velvet Underground's first record: it sold only ten thousand copies, but all who bought it then formed their band. Maker Faire Rome was fundamental in making us decide to actualize our ideas".

Christmas markets were very useful to verify how much SmåtSmåt products could be appreciated by different kinds of customers. "Luckily, their reaction - says Giorgia - went beyond our expectations and it was very positive in terms of objects sold and curiosity and interest about what we do. Moreover, we added to our 3D-printed creations a line of 100% handmade accessories: bags made in industrial neoprene and silk jersey. They served also as a 'bridge' to the handmade rubber creations by some friends we shared our space with".

SmåtSmåt's main goal for the next future is to make their online store grow with many new objects. "Also, we'll certainly sell 'live' again because it's very useful and fun. We're also trying to make contact with independent concept stores, to sell also in physical stores. I'll shortly start attending tailoring classes, we'd like to combine 3D printing with this family tradition… Broadly speaking, our main goal for this year is to be able to dedicate more and more time to this activity, because once you've started making you don't want to stop anymore".

To really understand this energy, you have just to visit SmåtSmåt store on MakeTank.

 

Leave a reply