Although its unofficial invention is attributed to the Shakers, an American religious sect, it was between 1852 and 1887 that the United States Patent Office recorded the largest number of 'clips,' or 'clothespins,' more or less similar to each other (two wooden prongs with an iron spring). However, it wasn't until 1944 that Mario Maccaferri, an unconventional Italian-American luthier and guitarist, introduced the plastic version of the clothespin. Even today, the clothespin, clip, or clamp, secures clothes on the line and papers on desks, napkins on ties in upscale restaurants in Turin as humorously described in an article by La Stampa* and pasta and cookie bags in pantries. Renata Petti's work starts from a clothespin, which becomes a symbol of design in its entirety, as designers from all over the world experiment with it (the avant-garde and award-winning Kilip by Indian designer Paul Sandip dates back to 2008). Renata crafted it in aluminum, offering a decidedly 'beautiful,' metallic, super-contemporary version (she lost with Francesco Bonami), stylistically impeccable. The oversized clothespin is suspended over a pile of tangled clothes and, like the Sword of Damocles, its shine and perfection dominate the shapeless mass of rags.
Petti's research, focused on experimenting with languages and materials, which often transform into something else through layering, cannot do without design (she is an architect), irony (she is Neapolitan), and the search for balance (she is a woman). It is no coincidence—it is the case to say!—that along these three directions, her 'Geometries' come to life, provocative enough, invulnerable, where order contrasts with disorder, form with non-form, project with non-project, design with non-design, idea and phenomenon, art and life. Quoting Bruno Munari, "geometry helps us to understand structures or to construct the world in which we live (...) chance is the unexpected (...) it arises from the climate, environmental, social, and geographical conditions, from sensory receptors (...) The combination of rules and chance is life, art, imagination, balance**.