There is perhaps nothing more comforting than the warm embrace of a bear hug.
That's the idea behind artist Mia Cinelli's creative “comfort object,” The Weight.
Following the death of her fiancé's father, Cinelli realized she missed the loving man's signature bear hugs.
She wanted to find a way to recreate the comforting feeling of his hugs, and The Weight blanket was born.
The 6-pound fleece blanket is designed to simulate a hug and features “arms” attached to either side, which users can wrap around themselves to feel as if they're being embraced.
When he passed away, I was left with a void of where his large personality had been. I wanted to feel his presence, so I made a hand to hold.
While the addition of arms and hands are unique, the idea of a weighted blanket isn't new. They're often used as a therapeutic tool, as it is believed that slight pressure on the body can create a relaxing, calming effect.
Its use imitates an intimate gesture, reminiscent of a hug from behind. When you feel relaxed and take the weight off, you feel lighter — both physically and in spirit.
While some find the limbed blanket a bit creepy, Cinelli doesn't really care.
I needed to make it for me first, and I need to figure out who to make it for next. When I finished it, I couldn't tell if it was too weird or just right, but I think all of my best work falls into that area.
The Weight prototype remains on exhibition while Cinelli contemplates how to market the design for the masses.
Learn more about Cinelli, including information on The Weight and past projects, at her website.