ela mariska
ugly objects ugly
ela lucas

ela lucas

When Lucas was younger, he made a ceremonial cup to be shared between nine friends. Each time one of the friends got married, the newlywed couple mixed beer from each hometown and drank from the vessel at the wedding, retelling the story of the cup, the friendships and of course the newly formed relationships. The married couple’s responsibility is to proudly display the ceremonial cup in a prominent location in the house until the next friend marries.

When Lucas married Coromandel, they were couple number eight. The last friend is in a relationship with three children but no plans of getting married anytime soon. Lucas and Coromandel could be displaying this cup for many years to come...  Lucas is an external consultant to the city of Amsterdam who spearheaded the Red Light Design project.


Video: about the trophy

Video: more about the object

Video: Lucas talks about the Red Light District

Video: more from Lucas about the Red Light District



So... this is what I have so far managed to do... that's not much, I agree, but taking the object apart and having it constantly in sight while working makes me realize what are its strong parts, what kind of connotations I gather from it, and what are the parts which I do not ‘connect’ to at all… it's nice to see the 'true colors' of the materials this cup is made of... Anyway, I can’t ignore it, and I get some ideas as to how to go further… soon you’ll get an update.



I am lately quite intensively busy with my ugly object. 

I must say that before I started with this project I didn't really believe in ugliness... I mean, I was convinced that everything has a side that when you look upon it, you see some beauty, but... now, while working on my object, I made a discovery! Things can be ugly, when there is no attention or love put into their making... really depressing... but... I am doing my best! 


It seems to me that since a long time now I am, one way or another, constantly busy with my ugly object.
Even though I now know what makes the object ugly in my eyes, still, and I am having hard time finding a way to make it my own... so that I can work on it with love... Sounds like big words but actually it's basic, I think, to love your materials, right?

Anyway... I found the way!!!

I am very happy with this process! Even in the Brazilian jungle, I was busy looking for the right element to complete my idea, to make my ugly object beautiful. Finally it didn’t work out with Brazilian materials. It was very risky to ‘export’ natural materials out of the country but during my stay there, the image of the object that I had in my head crystallized. So… back in my atelier, the object has undergone some metamorphosis and I am still working on it… 


ela ela

brass, wood, metal varnish, yarn, plastic, aluminum

When first confronted with the project’s name (UGLY OBJECTS…), I honestly realised that the term ‘ugly’ doesn’t really exist in my vocabulary as a serious term.

Can I really find something ugly???
After receiving my ‘ugly object’ for alteration, I realised that…yes, I can!!!

In my atelier I am privileged to deal almost exclusively with materials that I choose, gather, cherish and love. The trophy was assembled with materials that are most fake, non-materials one could imagine! At a moment of taking the trophy apart, in the hope of finding some hidden beauty in the materials that construct it, I realized how really ugly this thing is! The trophy was one pompous assembly of… sorry… ugliness…

I had two limitations from the owners while altering this object: 1. it had to stay a ‘cup’, a thing one can drink of, and 2. to preserve the names of the married couples and the dates of their marriage, that were engraved on … quite ugly, standard… name plates.

After a few approaches to integrate as many parts of the trophy as I could in the process of working on the object, I realised that if I am honest with myself, the only thing I like about it is the ‘cup’ form, but… it had those ugly ‘ears’ stuck to it… so I had to get rid of them too… I felt like this was a drastic action, breaking the ‘ears’ off the cup, but when I had this pure cup form in my hands, I was really charmed. I really loved the form!

After this transformation, for the object and for me, I felt a big relief. Now I could really work on the thing. And so… I tried to create a sort of trophy, preserving some of the original ritual, while omitting the grotesque and pompousness of it.

With the name plates I made a wearable object. By having a red thread pass through the name plates and connect them, I created a symbolic closed circle of friends, that is very much connected to the ceremony of the trophy, but also stands by itself.