The interview of this month is dedicated to Eugenio Monti Colla of Puppetry Company Colla and Sons.
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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.
Nuoro, Sardinia. Bottega Artigiana Metalli (BAM) is a metal workshop based on a novel idea: to craft contemporary objects using ancient manual techniques. Here, metal is used as a structural element, but revisited in its tactile, textural aspects for results that combine art, craft and design. Vittorio Bruno is masterfully marrying the artisanal tradition he inherited from his father, who continues to work in the atelier with him and his brother, to contemporary design objects, interior design and experimental lighting. The innovative and modern results reflect a love of manual work and expert craftsmanship.
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.