Saskia Wittmer, German by birth but Italian by adoption, has been working for over 15 years in her laboratory in the heart of Florence, where she creates bespoke shoes greatly appreciated by lovers of hand-made footwear. Wittmers’ is a very classic style, although she has an individual, original and feminine approach when she is working on products for male clients.
The story of the Bice&Berta bespoke knitwear in Torre Boldone, a few kilometres away from Bergamo, in Northern Italy, is a wool yarn running through the decades and connecting the hearts of extraordinary women, who grew up in different ages and have been brought together by the same passion. The same passion which, 27 years ago, encouraged Marina Rizzini to establish the laboratory and atelier which has now become a special place, fulfilling the soft tailor-made dreams of her clients, and turning them into perfect garments to be worn.
In the very heart of Varese, the “garden city” renowned for its Art Nouveau villas, its parks and proximity to the enchanting Lombard lakes, small contemporary factory can be discovered, where Elena Magni’s and Valeria Bellorini’s sophisticated savoir-faire gives life to state-of the art furnishings accessories based on precious, unusual materials.
In 1968, Fiorenzo Fallani opened his serigraphy atelier in Venice, where he imported a brand-new US printing technique to Italy. Over the decades, more than 200 world-renowned artists and promising contemporary young art talents visited the place, where they found a fertile environment to test their ideas, attentively interpreted by Gianpaolo himself.
Starting 1980, Filippo Villa has been following the family path founded by the outstanding master goldsmith and excellence craftsman Benvenuto Villa in 1876. The tradition is now being continued through the exclusive models created by the very best team of craftsmen in town. In 1995, Filippo Villa decided to become the first goldsmith reintroducing the use of cufflinks, which had first enteredthe history of costume in the 18th century and had been forgotten along the last 20 years. Thanks to his skills, passion and undeniable savoir-faire, in 2018 Villa has been awarded the Fondazione Cologni’s Prize MAM-Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere.
Born in Enna in 1954, he moved to Milan with his family in 1962. After attending the lower secondary school, he started working in a workshop where he learnt the upholsterer trade while attending the evening courses of the tapestry school run by Milan’s Atisea (the last school of this kind in Italy). After finishing the school, he started collaborating with a number of workshops, among which two historical workshops of Milan’s upholstery: Toniolo and Parinis. Thanks to his expertise, passion and acquaintance with processing methods and materials, he performs state of the art works.
Lidiana Miotto, born in Padua but now living in Lecce, is the only representative of the unique craft of papier-mache restoration in Italy. After achieving a qualification from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage enabling her to operate on their behalf, she moved to Lecce, Apulia, where she founded the Centre for Paper Restoration. Living in a town world-acknowledged for the excellence of its papier-mache creations, Lidiana Miotto is now reclaiming those antique artworks which had undergone extensive renovations over time.
Caterina Crepax was born in Milan in 1964, the heir to a family profoundly connected to art. She grew up in an evocative, imaginative and creative environment, which would prove a crucial asset in her education and training. But Caterina has always been an impassioned lover of paper. The daughter of world-famous artist Guido Crepax, she inherited her father’s great manual skills and imagination which led her to create an entire three-dimensional structure out of a paper leaf.
Hands on Design, a brand founded in 2015 by Kaori Shiina and Riccardo Nardi, creates, produces and commercialises its high craftsmanship design products within a network including, to this day, about 30 artisans and craft businesses and 110 international designers.
On the path of her personal and professional life, Gabriella Sacchi embodies the image of the craftswoman and designer combining creativity and savoir-faire at the highest level. In 1981, she established her Spazio Nibe laboratory, where, to this day, she has been engaged in ceramics sculpture while also pursuing cultural, research and promotional activities in the field of contemporary ceramics. In 2018, she was acknowledged the MAM-Maestro d'arte e Mestiere award, granted by Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte, in collaboration with ALMA.
Master Marino Menegazzo is the current owner of the Venetian historical craft workshop Mario Berta Battiloro. The workshop was founded in 1969, with the aim to continue the ancient family trade established in 1926.
Born in Burano, near Venice, where she is living, Lucia Costantini has been crafting needle lace since she was a child when she learned the ancient secrets of the art from the women in her family. A talented craftswoman, she designs the graphic projects for her works on her own and turns them into traditional white or innovatively multicoloured lace.
Sergio Boldrin, born in Venice in 1957, and currently living and working there, is a master mask maker, running two well-known ateliers in the lagoon city alongside his brother Massimo. He is also renowned for collaborating with the theatre and the cinema, especially through the masks featuring in Stanley Kubrick's film "Eyes wide shut". Boldrin showcased his creations in Italy and abroad, in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Stefano Nicolao was born in Venice in 1954. After attending the art school, he engaged in an acting career in Venice's “L'Avogaria” Theatre, run by Giovanni Poli. Meanwhile, he started working as an aid to a theatrical, cinema, and TV tailor shop. In the 1980s, he opened his “Nicolao Atelier” shop, also devoting himself to a philological study of historical, mostly Venetian costumes, and their accessories.
Born in Perugia in 1971, Marta Cucchia graduated in Interior design and architecture at Milan's Istituto Europeo di Design (IED). As a great weaving Master, she is the heir to a family tradition encompassing four generations.
Born in 1959 in Macerata, in the Marche region, Maurizio Tittarelli Rubboli was already active in the family pottery as a mere boy. Since 1873, when his great-grandfather Paolo established the Rubboli atelier, it has been passed down from father to son. With its founding in the town of Gualdo Tadino in Umbria, this ceramics factory reintroduced an ancient type of lustreware that had been popular here during the Renaissance.
Born in 1938 in Spilimbergo, in the region of Friuli–Venezia Giulia, Giovanni Travisanutto frequented the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli, a vocational school for mosaicists, where he was hired as a teacher after graduation. He has since become an internationally famous mosaicist known for his work in the New York City subway and at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – from the secular to the holy.
Francesco Raimondi was born in Vietri sul Mare in the province of Salerno in 1959. A faience decorator by vocation, he trained at the major potteries of Vietri, working by the side of great maestri who taught him the many secrets of this ancient art. He has developed a style full of cultured references, executed with infinite variety. His atelier l'Archetto is a Polar Star for many ceramics enthusiasts.
Diego Percossi Papi (Rome, 1946) attended the Faculty of Architecture after having graduated from liceo classico (high school specialised in Latin and Greek). Parallel to university, he began exploring the artistic media of sculpture and goldsmithing. With the spirit and freedom of a Renaissance artificer, he became a self-taught artist. Thanks to his talent, competence and undisputed skills, in 2016 he was awarded the MAM-Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere distinction by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art.
Born in 1957 to Giuseppina Marrazzo (a celebrated dressmaker for Naples' Teatro San Carlo), Raffaele Antonelli grew up among his mother's needles, threads and cottons, and, inevitably, inherited her passion for tailoring. In 1985, he established his tailor's shop, now very well known atelier even outside Naples. His success is the result of his deep commitment to the ancient and noble tailoring craft and of his forward-looking vision, extending far beyond his Neapolitan atelier and the work he is doing there.
Vanessa Cavallaro è una giovane artigiana, specializzata nell’antica arte della glittica alla ruota. Fin da bambina frequenta il laboratorio di famiglia e, dopo aver compiuto il ciclo di studi al liceo artistico e successivamente allo IED-Istituto Europeo di Design, nel 1993 apre il suo laboratorio. Nel 2000 partecipa all’11° Salon décoration et jardin, nel Principato di Monaco e nel 2016 viene insignita del premio MAM-Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere della Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte
Fabio Fornasier, is a master glassmaker from Murano: his chandelier LUMurano is certainly his most admired and acknowledged creation, thanks to the masterfully crafted glass elements that seem to be always in movement, changing aspect according to the view point of the observer.
Ornella Bijoux - an all-female success story made
of talent, courage, competence and beauty - has dominated the
scene of costume jewellery for 70 years. Maria Vittoria Albani Scala reveals
how, together with her mother Piera Albani, she has managed to establish an
atelier of world renown, creating costume jewellery for the big names of
fashion, from Céline and Swarovski to Borbonese and Dolce & Gabbana.
Roberto Sironi is a young Italian designer. After graduating in design at Milan’s Politecnico, where he still works, he developed his style by investigating materials and the possibilities to work on them, reaching remarkable results. He presented his works in various exhibitions in Italy and Europe. In 2015 he received the Honorable mention at the ADI Compasso d’Oro International Award and his projects have been exhibited in New Delhi and Buenos Aires, within the travelling exhibition of Triennale Design Museum.
Aurelio Mutinelli, Selleria Pariani’s President, tells us the story of his company: a long-standing Milanese institution that created the world’s first modern saddle.
Elio Cristiani is a Milanese ceramicist specialised in Raku, a Japanese pottery process. After a career working as marketing director, he decided to turn his life around and follow his passion for ceramics. In his workshop in Milan he creates unique products, such as Raku shaving brushes, and holds Raku, Grés, Paper Clay and Kintsugi classes.
Marta Sala is a Milanese design editor. Following in the footsteps of her uncle Luigi Caccia Dominioni and her mother Maria Teresa Tosi, who founded Azucena in 1947, she proposes her own collections that blend refined design with the Italian artisanal knowhow.
In their Milanese atelier, the Bassani sisters, Fabiana and Daniela, have been crafting bespoke wedding dresses on more than 30 years,. Using light fabrics, laces and precious silks they define every detail of their creations with wise mastery and passion.
Stories of Italy is an idea by Matilde Antonacci and Dario Buratto, two Milan-based creative designers that self-produce their pieces blending innovative style with historical using Italian craft traditions. The project’s fil rouge is the historical and cultural Italian heritage. Each piece is designed as an object of everyday use, that at the same time is an example of beauty and a communication icon.
The Gipsoteca Fumagalli & Dossi is one of the most fascinating and evocative Milanese ateliers. The workshop acquired part of the gypsum cast heritage of Gipsoteca Vallardi, after it went out of business in 1927. Generation after generation, the atelier is today conducted by Roberto Fumagalli and Mario Dossi and is the most important plaster casts supplier for art schools in Italy.
Franco Vigorito and Luca Cagnola turned their common passion in their job. In their Milanese laboratory, with shop windows on the street, they painstakingly work at the restoration of wooden furniture both antique and modern: from precious Maggiolinis to more ordinary pieces of furniture. They also cooperate with the Superintendence for important restoration interventions.
Lorenzo Foglia represents the third generation of one of the most important families of silversmiths in Florence, active since 1935.
Nicoletta Caraceni is the daughter of the great tailor Ferdinando Caraceni, originally from Abruzzo. In her atelier in via San Marco, in Milan, Nicoletta Caraceni and her team continue the family heritage with passion and dedication.
Simone Crestani’s poetical and sculptural glass
creations are the expression of a pure and elegant style: the perfect fusion of
tradition and innovation.
The Bevilacqua family preserves and continues the ancient and refined tradition of weaving on hand-operated 18th-century looms, on which Emanuele, Mario’s son and Luigi’s descendent, creates beautiful and graceful fabrics.
The Fratelli Levaggi workshop crafts authentic
Chiavari Chairs since 1963. The baton is now in the hands of Gabriele and
Paolo, who continue this venerable tradition and innovate it with experimental
and formal research.
Carlo Apollo is a creative artisan who gives antique wood a new life. His panels and floors are true works of art that are “tailor-made” to suit the desires of his numerous clients. Carlo Apollo is on www.well-made.it, the new website dedicated to the best Italian artisans created by the Cologni Foundation and Whomade.
Master ceramicist Giovanni Mengoni is specialised in
“bucchero”, a time-honoured technique typical of Umbria, his own native region.
For many years, Mengoni has dedicated himself to research and innovation, merging
tradition with contemporary design. For the 2016 Salone del Mobile in Milan he
created a collection designed by Ugo La Pietra that is sold on yoox.com.
The beautiful enamels that decorate some of the most precious Swiss watches have an Italian soul: the one of Vanessa Lecci.
With his contemporary approach, Paolo Polloniato is
the last descendant of a dynasty of master craftsmen who have dedicated their
lives to the traditional ceramics of Nove since the early 19th century.
The boutique-workshop where the eyewear “couturier” Sandro Gonnella creates his bespoke glasses is hidden in one of the medieval streets of Perugia’s historic centre.
BottegaNove creates decorated mosaic pieces both in ceramics and porcelain. We have met Christian Pegoraro, a third-generation master ceramist, who has been able to re-interpret the ancient tradition of ceramics processing through innovative thinking.
A year ago UnPizzo was founded by two designers from the city of Cantù, who started reflecting on the shape and everyday use of the typical “centrino” (doily), a long-standing traditional archetype
We learned about this new initiative, which was recently born from the passion of four friends, aiming at enhancing the talent of the best knitting grandmas of Milan.
I decided to investigate more deeply into the evolution of form, starting from the hand-woven fabrics I was creating and turning the bi-dimensional character of fabrics into a three-dimensional volume, which is the fundamental element of my creations.
At the age of 13, Renzo Scarpelli began his
apprenticeship in one of the most long-established workshops of commesso fiorentino (a mosaic technique
developed in the second half of the 15th century) in the historic centre of
We have interviewed Angelo Inglese of the famous tailor’s shop G. Inglese, which is greatly appreciated for the care and passion of its production.
This month’s interview is about a historical printing workshop, the Antica Tipografia Biagini in Lucca, taken over by Matteo Valesi, who is now continuing the activity and reviving the knowledge of an ancient tradition with expertise and great passion.
This month we have spoken with Tomas Than about his inspiration and the Maison's philosophy.
This month’s interview focuses on Sartoria Orefice of Cernobbio, which for five generations has made excellence its outstanding feature.
The workshop “Il Coccio”, belonging to ceramic artist Guido De Zan, is located right in the heart of Milan, next to the Colonne di San Lorenzo.
Fabscarte specialises in the production of handmade and painted wallpaper. It was established through the joint effort of four talented craftsmen.
We met the young chef Raffaele Lenzi (b. 1984) from Naples.
We have visited the Laboratorio Paravicini, an
artisanal workshop located in a historic district of Milan known as the “Cinque
Vie”. Workshops in this area will be open to visitors on the weekend
celebrations of the European Artistic Crafts Days (28-29 March 2015).
The Adachi Museum of Art, in the Shimane prefecture, is located in the Chugoku region, facing the sea of Japan.
My passion for wood grew in a craftsman’s workshop where I used to spend a lot of time during my university years.
Tucked away in the centre of Milan, Ernst Knam’s pastry and chocolate shop “L’Antica” is a wonderful world to discover.
Gemma Vernò, designer and maker of unique hats, is one of the three artisans who share a workshop situated in the courtyard of a typical old Milanese house.
Lorenzo Borghi's story started in 1952, when at the age of twelve, he started working at the Lionello Passerini's millinery shop.
Barbara Milani has followed in the footsteps of her
parents, who made clothes for specialised shops as well as supplying a number
of Italian fashion houses.
Francesca Bencivenni is one of the few remaining authorities in Aemilia Ars needle lace, an ancient tradition of Bologna. She was born in the province of Bologna, where she developed a passion for lace and embroidery since childhood. Today she contributes to preserving and spreading this time-honoured technique.
Bruno and Simone Peron’s workshop is situated in one of Bologna’s most charming spots.
The Musella Dembech label represents a
long-standing tailoring tradition, which Francesco Musella started many years
ago. Today, we can discover it through the words of Gianfrancesco, his young
The handcrafting of leather goods is a long-established tradition in the city of Modena.
As with past interviews, this one is first of all a cognitive investigation that is useful for understanding individual cases in Lombardy, and secondly a collection of data to identify different spatial and mechanical necessities.
Carlo Andreacchio is a tailor of world renown and
an authority on Italy’s tailoring tradition, which he celebrates in his refined
and prestigious creations.
With Giuseppe Tisci, current owner of the furrier’s shop bearing his name, this age-old family of furriers has arrived at the fourth generation.
The inauguration, in November 2013, of the “Four Living National Treasures of Japan” exhibition by The Fine Art Society at the New Bond street gallery
Driven by his passion for crocodile skin and the long experience he gained in his father’s leather goods laboratory, in 2004 Giorgio Santamaria opened “Giosa: la bottega del coccodrillo” in Via Ciovasso, in Milan’s Brera district.
In Milazzo, on the northern coast of Sicily, the atelier Previtera-Pracanica for over forty years has been creating sacred images and works in papier mache, in addition to the production of handmade ornaments and to the restoration of wooden works.
Milan can boast of an age-old tradition in tanning. The little Travi workshop, located in the heart of Milan, across from the church of San Lorenzo and its columns,
Ottavio Re’s workshop, founded in 1935, was taken over in 1973 by Emanuele Coletto, who had been working there as an employee since 1949.
At the Fazioli headquarter in Sacile, Mr Paolo Fazioli illustrated his personal and professional quest for the perfect sound. The Fazioli pianos are exported all over the world and are admired and appreciated for their unique quality.
“Washi” is the name of traditional Japanese handmade paper (“wa” meaning Japanese and “shi” meaning paper).
Siniscalchi shirtmakers was founded by Vittorio Siniscalchi in 1948.
On the occasion of "Twelve", designed by Alessandro Mendini and produced by Riva 1920, we had a chat with Maurizio Riva, who manages the firm together with his siblings.
Fabio Ognibeni is an artisan/entrepreneur who lives in Trentino Alto Adige, and more specifically in the area in the Dolomites around Fiemme.
We have visited the studio Rancati, active from 1864 for the ideation, realization and rental of stage equipments.
The male item of clothing par excellence, the necktie has undergone a continuous evolution over the centuries.
In Florence, the Santo Spirito district has always had a definite flair for artisanry: here, there have been engravers’, goldsmiths’ and shoemakers’ workshops ever since the Renaissance.
Patience and dedication to work are fundamental for these people, who have been making handmade wigs for the performing arts since 1874.
The 18th century Encyclopédie writes "Everything that’s necessary in life is made by craftsmen; those who visit a craftsman’s studio will notice the functionality and the cleverest wisdom to be perfectly intertwined".
Pipa Castello started out in 1947, the year when founder Carlo Scotti created a little workshop with the aim of producing pipes of the highest quality and that would be technically and aesthetically at the top.
Galeotti Piume’s firm, thoroughly artisan, has never left its production headquarters amidst the rolling hills of the Apennines in almost fifty years. It figures not only as excellent and innovative, but also as extremely rare.
Interview with Maria Grazia Lenti, Il giardino dei punti.
De Vecchi is a silversmith’s workshop established in Milan at the end of the 1930s.
This month’s interview is dedicated to Danilo Bosio, Director of the Fonderia Battaglia in Milan, one of the historical foundries present in the Milan area; in 2013 it will celebrate 100 years of operation.
Interview with Enzo Liverino, coral engraver and carver.
The interview of this month is dedicated to Victor Togliani, illustrator and sculptor.
This month’s interview is dedicated to Annagemma Lascari, stylist, fashion designer and style-consultant.
March's interview is dedicated to Molera Locchi, one of the top in the Florence area who carries on a centuries-old tradition of glass carving.
This month’s interview is with Marcello Calvi, a talented young man who learned the art of casting from his father and cultivates it with passion and dedication.
For over one hundred years now, the Vetrate d'Arte Giuliani (Giuliani Artistic Windows) Atelier of Rome has actively been designing and producing windows with great mastery and incredible skill. Accordingly, its work can be found all over the world in a wide range of settings.
Maria Vittoria Ovidi Pazzaglia, President of the association Bolsena Ricama, has intervied for the Cologni Foundation Mr. Giuseppe Parolo, an itinerant master weaver: he creates his own looms with his hands, in small dimensions, and brings them along during his trips to Italy and abroad.
Artisan Simona Casadio's firm's headquarters are in Faenza, in the province of Ravenna: she specializes in gilding, lacquering and restoration. She started in 1930 with Mario, Simona's grandfather, to whom this interview is dedicated.
The interview of December is dedicated to the workshop La Stele of Milan, one of the last lombard boutiques that for more than 60 years produces and restores sacred art and statues for the nativity scene.
The interview of this month is dedicated to Marina Gioitti, an artisan from Friuli who in the beautiful landscape of her mountains creates objects, pieces of furniture and works of art in wood, decorating them with freehand natural techniques.
The interview of this month is dedicated to Milady Atelier, an excellent Florentine
Marco Fracassi is the artistic director of Casa Pedrini
Cremona Organi, an organ maker’s workshop founded at the beginning of the 20th
This month we interviewed Laura Tonatto, master perfumer since 1986, has created fragrances for Elio Fiorucci, Ornella Vanoni and Asia Argento.
Interview with Lorenzo Andrei, Owner and Commercial Director of Poggi Ugo.
Davide Gatti is the great-nephew of Riccardo, founder of the “Bottega d’arte Ceramica Gatti” of Faenza,
The interview of this month is dedicated to Eugenio Monti Colla of Puppetry Company Colla and Sons.
The interview has been realized at the company's Atelier-Theatre in Milan.
Alessandro Bianchi, master of the ancient Florentine technique of scagliola decoration, talked to us about his passion for his work.
Right before the opening of his exhibition at the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, the great couturier Roberto Capucci reveals his thoughts about crafts professions, haute couture and research.
The firm was born in Turin in 1919 as the Fabbrica Italiana di Penne a Serbatoio (manufacturer of fountain pens). Today Aurora has become the leading firm in the production and commercialisation of writing instruments, fine leather products,
Interview with Maria Giovanna Varagona, co-owner and founder of the “La Tela” atelier and museum in Macerata.
The candle factory Cereria Terenzi, born 40 years ago, is one of today's corporate realities that perfectly unites research, tradition, innovation and artisans' savoir-faire. The portrait of a truly "illuminated" entrepreneur: Paolo Terenzi.
My interest for harpsichords started when I became more
involved in music, which was during my years at the Polytechnic in Turin.
Gabriella Sacchi tells us about her experience in the manufacture of ceramics
Lino Sabattini is an old-time craftsman. His objects, characterised by a light, elegant sense of form, span an over fifty-year long period of active research and are exhibited in important international museums.
The Massimo Del Chiaro Artistic Foundry is in Pietrasanta, in the province of Lucca. Massimo Del Chiaro and his son Roberto told us the story of the company and the reason why internationally renowned artists choose their foundry for creating their works.
This month the interview is dedicated to a young art master specializes in paintings, the Milanese Fabio Colombini.
Pierluigi Ghianda is one of the most famous Italian cabinet makers in the world: he has worked with prestigious luxury firms like Hermès, and has collaborated with Italian artists and architects like Gae Aulenti, Cini Boeri, the Castiglioni brothers, Gianfranco Frattini, Vico Magistretti, Gio Ponti, Richard Sapper and Ettore Sottsass.
Franco Lorenzi, together with his brother Aldo, is the rightly proud owner of the most famous, historic and renowned boutique in Milan of razors, blades and shaving items: in this Q&A he shares their truly unique collection.
We visited the atelier Alige, where Alice welcomed us and explained how works today a corset maker.
The Italian cake designer Mela Prina has settled down in London and has founded “Kicca Cakes”, a workshop of bespoke cakes.
Laura does not consider a frame an ordinary object - to her it is a casket of memories, a place for storing affection and emotion.
Made with passion. A very individual selection of chocolate melting in mouth. Little masterpieces like the whiskey truffles, simply tantalizing.
Pino Grasso is a master in the art of embroidery. For sixty years, his Milanese workshop has been a reference point for the most renowned haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion houses. A continuous research into new materials and designs enriches his prestigious archive and stimulates the creativity of his clients.