Pizza is a lot like a one night stand. After a few hours of hot, often unexpected and occasionally sticky passion, eater and eatee part ways, never to see each other again. Though there may be a rare revisit the following morning, it’s considered common courtesy to dismiss the whole affair as an ill-advised indiscretion. It has been this way since we first realised that a slice or two of pie was the only way to end any proper night out.
However, despite the well-established social conventions around hanging onto pizza past its best, one company has decided that the modern generation need to reevaluate their relationship goals. For “Forever Pizza”, our obsession with transient Tinder swiping and Domino’s delivery is undermining the bedrock of global society. That’s why they’ve figured out a way to turn our pizza flash-in-the-pan into a permanent feature.
What started out as a joke entry in an art exhibition has turned into serious business. As a student studying product design at New York’s Pratt Institute, Steph Mantis came across a curated show canvassing for entries on the subject of “threat” - specifically, what hypothetical objects could be used to repel a home invasion. Born and raised in a family of pizza makers, Mantis only had one thing on her mind. Using resin and her artistic nous, she presented a giant ninja shuriken star, built of four plastic coated pizza slices. Forever Pizza’s business model was born.
After unveiling her design, it occured to Mantis that encasing the slice in clear resin had done more than turn it into a weapon of war. In her words, she had managed to create “an object of nostalgia, of history, of an iconic monument to our culture's reverence for pizza as a food.” This was about creating something timeless in a fleeting modern world. After careful consideration, she decided that we could all do with a slice of plastic pizza.
From the moment the lucite slices hit the web, they were hot property. Mantis and her wares were featured in magazines, museums and mainstream media in a way that she could never have predicted. Thousands signed up to the Forever Pizza newsletter, all hoping to get their own wedge of history delivered straight to the door. Before long, Mantis was overwhelmed by demand.
To make a single triangle of pizza resin is an arduous process. Each batch is made with eight individual slices, as this is the portion provided in Mantis’ family pizza shop. It then takes four weeks to dehydrate, pour the resin, cure, harden and ship the final product. The time taken over each slice tells you all you need to know about pizza preservation - this is a labour of love and not something to be taken lightly.
Even though we may still be surrounded by fixtures defined by their impermanence, Mantis’ success story shows that there’s still an appetite for commitment. Maybe it’s romantic and maybe it’s naive, but it seems there’s something deep down in all of us that will always want something more than a one night stand.