We received photos of a heart-warming project – In Vino Vitae – In Wine There Is Life. Designed by Axel Yberg of Akke Functional Art, the piece is a statement, a functional art piece and a useful and inspiring object for wine lovers: “I made this piece in an effort to help cancer survivor Erin Zammett Ruddy reach her goal of raising $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; she is a candidate for the LLS Woman of the Year.” He continues with a few words about the inspiration for creating this interesting piece: “During our first discussion, Erin requested a wine rack to symbolize the comfort she found in sharing & enjoying wine with her loved ones.”

Both Erin and her sister, Melissa, are cancer survivors and this piece strives to represent the duality seen in the challenging lives of those who suffer from the horrible disease: “The plumbing pipes are meant to elicit a reaction; symbolic of the difficult times Erin and Melissa endured. To counterbalance this harshness, I used the warmth of wood to form the inverse shape, creating a heart; symbolic of the love that surrounds the sisters. The two sets of three glass holders represent Erin with her sisters on one side and her parents on the other. The three unions represent the relationships that Erin has chosen with her husband, Nick, and their children, Alex and Nora.” There are even more elements that symbolize the harsh moments and strong human connections – from the reclaimed materials symbolizing a second chance to a symbolic set of elements pointing out to the age Erin was when she was diagnosed with cancer – 23. This is a beautifully designed piece reminding us of the scarcity of life and the existing things that make it all worthwhile. Photos by Jennifer Fiore.