Sprout Arte – Old Testament Genesis – Clay whistles

Dec. 3, 2010 – Jan. 10, 2011
Sacile – Italy

Denis Imberti and Stefano Tasca (Sprout Arte) are two ceramic artists from the Veneto region, specializing in whistles.

In Veneto the art of making clay whistles – Cuchi – dates back to the 19th century, when they
became very popular satirical weapons against the establishment.
Fascinated by their history, their symbolism and their primordial “voice”, Denis Imberti and Stefano Tasca started creating whistles as a group in 2001.

They’ve learnt from the tradition, without ever ceasing to experiment new shapes and sounds. Indeed, their work is a delight for each of our senses (but smell, perhaps!).

About clay whistles
As a  “breath of life, kneaded with mud and hardened by fire” (reported from Sprout Arte website) the whistle is almost as old as mankind and attached to many cultures around the world. 

Historians believe it originated in ancient China around 2500 B.C. when Chinese night watchmen blew into acorns to alert of an approaching enemy. Ancient Greek children played with many toys, including whistles, as we know from the contents of some tombs.

The Aztecs played the “Dead Whistles” during funerals, to  communicate with the spirit-world and prepare the souls for the afterlife.

In England whistles were embedded in the chimney hoods to keep evil ghosts away, while in Baviera they protected the babies in their cradles.

They were used to hunt and to call people and animals, to invoke rain or a good harvest, to treat illness and speed up recovery.

As an early whistle-making material, clay was used into modern day. Their shapes were very fancyful. However the representation of nature and human man figures has often prevailed over abstract shapes.

Old Testament Genesis
Country House Due Fiumi
Via Bertolissi, 35 – Sacile (PN)
Ph: 0039 0434 70820
Email: info@sprouarte.it

One thought on “Sprout Arte – Old Testament Genesis – Clay whistles

  1. Those are very unique. I’d like to see more of them. I recently received a clay whistle from a friend who had been traveling in South America. I didn’t realize Italy had a tradition of whistles.

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