As a crank-turned blade shaves the block of cocoa, delicately inlaid patterns tell the story of the confection.
Designed in collaboration between Dutch design firm Studio Wieki Somers and chocolatiers Rafeal Mutter, The Chocolate Mill is more than just a stunning piece of chocolate. The 220 pound cylindrical block of chocolate also doubles as a storytelling medium, detailing various stories about the history of cocoa as its layers are exposed.
The work, designed for the Vitra Design Museum’s Confrontations: Contemporary Dutch Design exhibition, ‘focuses on the search for the hidden properties…that evoke memories or stimulate the imagination of users.’ Various flavors and colors of chocolate are embedded throughout the Chocolate Mill, arranged in such an artful way that when a crank-turned blade delicately shaves-off tiny layers, patterns emerge to tell stories about the candy’s history. One layer, full of white and red chocolate, recreates an African Bobo mask, which cocoa-bean pickers believe have a special power to bring a good harvest.
Layer by layer, viewers are treated to a kaleidoscope flip-book effect with every turn of the blade. Watch the video of the Chocolate Mill in action below: