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Terracotta light switch, Italy: "This is one of those objects that we needed to convince the shopkeeper to sell because he had only a dusty one left on display. It was almost buried in the window of his shop—a small specialty store devoted to electrical goods in a suburb of Milan. It's quite remarkable as it is a light switch for garages or apartment hallways... but is made entirely from terracotta. Even the rotatable switch is made in terracotta, and this makes sense—ceramic is a good insulator from electrical current: strong, sturdy, cheap and in plentiful supply. The material choice is not born out of an aesthetic desire even though the result is odd and beautiful at the same time, because we're more accustomed to seeing it used for objects like flowerpots or tiles resting on the floor, rather than being used on walls."