These simple, sculptural goblets, named Paro (“I protect” in Italian), were designed by Italian industrial designer and design educator, Achille Castiglioni. A major figure in twentieth-century design, Castiglioni was known for bringing a curious and inventive sensibility to solving design problems and investigating materials and processes. Paro’s cleverly designed versatile form is reversible, having both deep and shallow cone-shaped bowls suitable for either red or white wine. The shape of a wine glass, either deep and bucket-like or shallow and wide, is thought to affect the rate at which wine oxidizes, altering its bouquet and flavor. Different shaped cups are used to accentuate the characteristics of different wines.

The design of this goblet is not only influenced by ideas about wine, but also by Castiglioni’s careful study of glass shaping and production techniques—blowing and forming the molten material, breaking off the finished form from the glass blower's punty rod, and grinding the cooled glass to create fine, straight edged rims. The goblet’s two inverted cones are joined near their apexes, and look almost as if they are sliding past each other. When one bowl is upright to hold wine, the opposite, empty bowl acts as a broad, stable base, making for a delightful study in shapes, and a game of right side up versus upside down.

So as this festive season draws to a close, bottoms up!

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