The long tail of the “Scoiattolo” squirrel acts as a counterweight, exactly as it does in nature, but in this case it is not to balance the reckless movements of the little animal, but simply to offer the necessary weight to crack walnuts and hazelnuts. Made of solid micro-cast stainless steel, “Scoiattolo” is fitted onto a wooden base with a hinge that allows it to rotate which aids the cracking motion. The hinge is equipped with a light gear which makes the movement smooth and predictable.
"A squirrel bending over to crack open a walnut, or a hazelnut, is the archetypical representation that can be seen frequently throughout the historical production of this object. So, there’s nothing new in Branzi’s use of this metaphor (or does it deal with synecdoche or quintessential nature? In any case, it deals with using a rhetorical figure, which is also very frequent in design) but his version certainly has the mark of a master." — Alberto Alessi