Laura Inghirami, journalist and advisor specialized in the jewelry sector, and Founder of Donna Jewel, interviewed, for the Cologni Foundation, the Master artisans who have been awarded as “MAM – Master of Arts and Crafts”, in the category: Jewelry - Silversmithing – Goldsmithing.
“The “fiaccherai” - says Master Paolo Pagliai – were the old-time drivers of horse-drawn carriages. In the 40s, my father Orlando Pagliai, founder of the family company, used to give them his hand-written business cards to be distributed, and also to be known and find customers." This is the old-time, fascinating story of Paolo Pagliai, Florentine craftsman, awarded MAM - Master of Arts and Crafts, specialized in the production and processing of silverware, as well as in the restoration and the creation of unique pieces on request. Nowadays Pagliai’s silverware is a reference point of excellence, and it has been recognized as a prestigious Florentine Historical Business. "I'm Orlando Pagliai, the silversmith who worked at Rogai’s: if you need me, you will find me in Costa San Giorgio, 77" – as it was reported on those business cards.
Davide Furno is a true master of wax.
He was the first in Italy to give new life and dignity to wax modeling, thus recovering an ancient and completely forgotten technique: this is a discipline that, with the help of waxes, natural resins, plasters and powders, gives life to flowers and fruit, that can be combined into extraordinary compositions. With this process, and thanks to secret recipes he learned during years of study, research and experimentation, Davide Furno is able to create true masterpieces of still life, refined and hyper-realistic, which make any environment magical and poetic.
Laura Inghirami, journalist and advisor specialized in the jewelry sector, and Founder of "Donna Jewel", nterviewed, for the Cologni Foundation, the Masters who have been acknowledged as “MAM – Master of Arts and Crafts”, in the category: Jewelry - Silversmithing - Goldsmithing.
We are in Corso Como, Milan, in Natsuko Toyofuku's Atelier, a sophisticated place where the distant charm of Japan meets Milan and Western culture, with experimentation and artistic ferment. Here Natsuko Toyofuku, awarded with the title of MAM - Master of Arts and Crafts, shows us her hand-crafted creations in bronze and silver, sometimes enlightened by colored enamels and unusual stones. Contemporary, sculptural works, always out of the box: Natsuko Toyofuku doesn’t want to conform to the rules of classic jewelry, she rather wants to overcome them.
The history of “Ceramiche San Giorgio” started with the dream of a boy, Giovanni Poggi, who wanted to be a ceramicist and to open an important workshop. He decided to do it in his hometown, Albisola, a Ligurian city with a long artisanal tradition: the San Giorgio factory opened its doors in 1958, thanks to the partnership between master artisan Poggi and his two collaborators, Eliseo Salino and Mario Pastorino. Albisola was a great place for experimenting and re-inventing the art of ceramics, and Giovanni Poggi's workshop was one of the protagonists of this revolution. Numerous internationally renowned artists have worked in his furnace, and over the years it has been a true point of reference for Italian ceramics. Today, the history of the atelier continues with the same passion and consistency.
Saverio Pastor is one of the last "remèr" (oar maker) masters in Venice: an ancient trade, which was born in Venice many centuries ago, when mobility around the lagoon was entirely by rowing. This noble craft is nowadays in danger of disappearing, because there are few craftspeople who are able to carry on this important know-how, and even fewer young talents who have the courage to invest many years in such a challenging job. Nevertheless, this tradition is deeply rooted into the Venetian history and culture. Saverio Pastor trained alongside masters Giuseppe Carli and Gino Fossetta. In 2002 he opened his own workshop, "Le Forcole", specialized in the construction of oars and oarlocks for Venetian gondolas, according to traditional techniques dating back to the Renaissance.
Laura Inghirami, journalist and advisor specialized in the jewelry sector, and Founder of Donna Jewel, interviewed, for the Cologni Foundation, the Master artisans who have been acknowledged in 2022 as “MAM – Master of Arts and Crafts”, in the category: Jewelry - Silversmithing - Goldsmithing.
Vincenzo Aucella, Marketing Manager and Master artisan of Aucella, and President of Assocoral, awarded MAM - Master of Arts and Crafts, has accompanied us to discover the history of his family company, which is based in Torre del Greco (close to Naples), home to a fascinating centuries-old tradition, and specialized in the processing and production of corals and cameos. “Post Fata Resurgo”: this is the motto of the city, which, like the legendary phoenix, has always risen from the difficulties to build a future made of uniqueness, art and beauty.
Anita Cerrato is a ceramic restorer with a great passion for the Japanese culture and aesthetics. She specializes in Kintsugi, a ceramic repair technique that does not hide the fractures of the object, but enhances them by embellishing them: an imperfect beauty capable of restoring life and meaning to any object. In her atelier in Milan, she creates objects and furnishing accessories of the highest quality, with original raw materials from the Empire of the Rising Sun: clay, precious Urushi lacquer, and Marufun gold. In 2022 she was awarded the title MAM - Master of Art and Craft by the Cologni Foundation.
The history of the Barbini family goes along with the tradition of Venetian mirrors, which dates back to the 16th century. The brothers Giovanni and Vincenzo Barbini, with the support of their children, still nowadays personally carry out all the stages of processing using the traditional techniques of the craft. In 2018 they received the accolade MAM - Master of Art and Craft, promoted by the Cologni Foundation in collaboration with Alma. They took part in Homo Faber Event 2022 in Venice, exhibiting an extraordinary monumental mirror in homage to the Empire of the Rising Sun.
Antonella Cimatti, a teacher and ceramicist from Faenza, bases her poetics on creative, aesthetic and design research and innovative experimentation with contemporary techniques. Her works are designed to arouse wonder and enchantment: the whiteness of her very light porcelain crepes, large lace cups hovering on transparent crystalline stems, immaculate butterflies on the verge of taking flight with their long shadows projected on the wall, still life and light installations played on shadows through digital and LED processing. Chasing the miracle of lightness.
Nicolò Morales was born in 1973 in Caltagirone, where he lives and works. He attended the Art Institute in his city, and since an early age he has been practising in the workshops of master ceramists. His atelier is in the historic centre of the Sicilian town, where he creates both functional objects and sculptures, some of which of considerable size, with inexhaustible creativity. Here he displays his anthropomorphic vases typical of the Caltagirone tradition, but also his avant-garde interpretations, as well as reproductions of 13th-century protomaiolica. Morales literally uses the colours of his land, which he derives directly from minerals collected in the countryside around Caltagirone.
Elvira Keller was born and raised in Naples. After graduating, she devoted herself to learning ceramic techniques in several studios. She specialised in the art of majolica at the Ballardini Institute in Faenza: here she settled and opened the workshop where she still practices her profession. Thanks to her expertise and know-how, she has taken part in personal and collective exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Her highly personal poetics are inspired by cosmic space and nature, with architectural contaminations.
In 1873, Domenico Conti Borbone founded the bookbindery that still bears his name. An accomplished master bookbinder, he left the baton to his niece Giuseppina and her husband Isacco Marchesi. The two moved to Corso Magenta in 1919, and it is still here that their grandsons, Gianluca, Gabriele and Angelo, officially at the helm of the company since 2000, cultivate and innovate the art of bookbinding. The workshop produces marbled papers, special colouring on leather, gold embossing and perfect bindings. Everything is done by hand, from sewing the book, gluing, cutting, making the cover to the beautiful decoration and printing.
Lorenza Bessone is the driving force behind Solelò, a brand of handmade ceramics with a minimalist style. In her workshop in Saluzzo (Cuneo), the city where she was born and raised, she crafts objects and accessories in stoneware entirely by hand, from the design to the processing, from the finishing to the enamels, which are also handmade. In 2021 she was one of the finalists in the "Artigiano del Cuore" (Artisan of the Heart) competition of the platform Wellmade.
The Busato family print shop has been based for over 70 years in the historic centre of Vicenza, in a 16th-century building. Giancarlo Busato has inherited the workshop founded in 1946 by his grandfather Ottorino, who had worked for over twenty years in the most important print shops in the Veneto region. His grandson continues the family passion and has been working since 1996 in chalcography and lithography, using exclusively artisan printing systems that have remained unchanged over time, spending his days among the presses, templates, inks and paper. A visit to the print shop in the heart of the city is a truly fascinating and very special experience. Its passionate owner is always ready to welcome visitors with stories and live demonstrations. Busato also does a lot of teaching to pass on his beloved craft to young people.
Giuseppe Peluso, known as Pino, is one of the most illustrious names of the prestigious Neapolitan tailoring tradition. Born in 1972 in Caivano, his father was a tailor and his mother worked as an embroiderer. At the age of fourteen he already made and signed his first jackets, after having learned to cut and sew vests, jackets and trousers to perfection. Since 2017, Sartoria Peluso has been welcoming its customers to Posillipo, in a splendid and panoramic lounge overlooking the Gulf of Naples.
Martha Pachon Rodriguez is Colombian, but Italian by adoption: for more than 20 years, in fact, she has been designing and manufacturing beautiful porcelain artefacts in her atelier in Faenza, one of the most important centers of Italian ceramics. With her experimental and creative attitude, Martha draws inspiration above all from nature and human spirit, creating a perfect combination of shapes, colors and sounds. A poetic and refined know-how that fascinates anyone who crosses the threshold of her magical cave. An overwhelming passion, a happiness of doing that captivates since the first meeting.
Georg Demetz Pilat was born in 1962, the fourth generation of a family strongly linked to the art of wood carving. After completing his sculpture studies at the Institute of Art in Ortisei, he had the opportunity to learn the trade from various masters. In 1987 he obtained the title of master sculptor and started his own business. He works in his workshop in Ortisei where he creates unique pieces in wood and bronze.
The atelier of Ulderico Pinfildi, the supreme master of crib art, is in San Gregorio Armeno, in the heart of Naples. He grew up in the family workshop, and he likes to define his history as a true genealogy. Opened in 1986, the atelier is led by Ulderico and his wife Imma, who took over from his father Alfredo. In his house-shop you can breathe the atmosphere of that extraordinary world of which the Neapolitan crib has been a unique expression since the eighteenth century.
Luciano Fagnola, has been working in the field of bookbinding for over 40 years. He graduated in the Bookbinding at the Colle Don Bosco Graphic School, in the province of Asti. During his career he has collaborated with several important artists, such as Ugo Nespolo, Guido Giordano, Francesco Casorati, Giuseppe Uncini, Ferdinando Texidor, Aldo Mondino, Francesco Musante; thanks to these contacts he has developed a personal style of binding, poetic, suggestive and magical.
Carraro Chabarik is a project centered on mosaic art. It is a contemporary artisan workshop that combines creative thinking and manufacturing skills. The laboratory is located in the historic center of Udine; we work on both the conception and the composition of the mosaics;, we develop artistic research works in dialogue with clients; a line of jewels with precious mosaic inserts; furnishing elements and architectural projects, such as wall and floor coverings... all our products are born from the tradition of high craftsmanship, re-interpreted to achieve very modern results.
Antonino Negri (Lodi,) 1961: crafts his ceramic masterpieces in his workshop, “Terra Crea”. Earth, water, fire and air are the recurring primordial elements that permeate the archetypal forms of his production, where technical expertise and poetry merge. They are pure and perfect forms that tell ancient tales.
Victor Fotso Nyie was born in Cameroon in 1990. In 2010 he graduated from the Artistic Training Institute of Mbalmayo, in his native Country. In 2012 he came to Italy to attend a Mosaic course at the Ravenna Academy of Fine Arts. At the same time he became passionate about the ceramic language and in 2015 he obtained a diploma in Cesena as Technician for the design and prototyping of ceramic products. His artistic research led him to collaborate with several ceramic artists including Bertozzi & Casoni and Bottega Gatti. His talent has soon be noticed: he has already inaugurated a solo exhibition at the Carlo Zauli Museum in Faenza. Victor is the winner of Artigiano del Cuore 2021 contest, and until 31 August it is possible to support his activity through a foundraising on: link to the gift network.
The M&Dusa textile company, founded in the 1960s in Samugheo (Oristano) and taken over by Marcella and Daniela Sanna in 2004, is acknowledged for its rich production of textiles, inspired by the traditional Sardinian weaving techniques and motifs. Carpets, delicate curtains, precious tablecloths and fabrics are mainly intended for home furnishings and the hotel sector. The atelier boasts, among its clients, important hotels and resorts on the Costa Smeralda. An ancient textile art, which only the skilled hands of women can recreate, is expressed intact and precious in the M&Dusa textile workshop, a small, all-female reality.
Rita Bargna was born in 1942 in Como, but has almost always lived and worked in Cantù. She learned the art of bobbin lace from her mother at the age of 5, and then cultivated for over sixty years the passion for this discipline, both as a collector and as a creator of more than one hundred unique pieces. Rita Bargna is also proactive in teaching bobbin lace, and has directed some schools for the transmission of this noble and ancient art. In 1999 she founded and still presides over the Associazione Merletti d'Arte di Cantù.
The Milanese master luthier Carlo Chiesa is one of Italy’s finest craftsmen. Trained at the Civica Scuola di Liuteria in Milan, he constructs modern and baroque bowed instruments in his renowned workshop. He combines this practical activity with the study of antique instruments and historical research into various questions regarding Italian instrument makers and their techniques. He also carries out an intense teaching activity and takes young people who want to improve their skills under his wing: in particular he welcomes the apprentices of the ‘A School, a Job. Training to Excellence’ project promoted by the Fondazione Cologni, facilitating the transmission of his expertise to new generations.
Eva Seminara has taken up the mantle of a bookbinder’s workshop founded in 1966 and located in Palazzo Brazzà, Udine. In 1999 she became its proprietor, with the desire to preserve the artisan atmosphere and expertise of the workshop, while adapting and modernising some of its equipment. Her liberal arts education and great love of books has led the artisan/artist to give them a new lease of life with refined bindings of a traditional character as well as in a contemporary style, through the utilization and insertion of unusual materials.
The Great Design Disaster is a highly original and innovative project stemming from the creative exchange between the expert on art and design Joy Herro and the interior designer and gallerist Gregory Gatserelia, who have come up with a new way to approach the experience of collectable design. In a now saturated market, TGDD aims to introduce a new modality based on creativity rather than on acquisition. A market that puts an end to the traditional structure of demand and supply and that develops from ideas; a way in which people with creative imagination can meet up with talented artisans, to give rise, with the help of one of TGDD’s agents, to a product with an exclusive and unique spirit.
EL was born in 2015 out of the encounter between the graphic designer Isabella Attanasio and the architect Marina Migneco, united by their passion for the contemporary and for the crafts, for sinuous and dynamic forms and for experimentation in all its possible facets. They conceive, design, make, assemble and apply the finishing touches to their objects at their two small workshops in Catania and Venice, relying on companies in the Veneto to do the electroplating and precision casting. Recently they have also set up an e-commerce platform.
Orsola Clerici took a diploma in painting and restoration in 2002. Fascinated by the world of art and conservation, she decided to specialize in the restoration of contemporary art at Milan’s Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in 2005. In 2007, capitalizing on her training and the skills she had acquired, she and Chiara Troglio set up Pictalab, a workshop of decoration located in Milan. In 2009 Pictalab started to specialize in the production of decorations on paper, alongside the decoration of walls, favouring themes linked to nature. Thanks to her commitment, manual ability and great expertise, Orsola Clerici received the title of MAM (Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere), awarded for the third time in 2020.
For over twenty years Elena Palossi, decorator and set designer, has been the proprietor of the Milanese studio LargheVedute, a well-established enterprise in the city, recognized for the design and realization of customized works and bespoke products. Each project is the fruit of a passionate work of creative research and study that leads to a contemporary, evocative and poetic end product, always strictly crafted by hand.
The story of Lorenzi Milano commenced when Giovanni Lorenzi, having survived the First World War, arrived in Milan in 1919 from the valleys of Trentino and decided to open his knife-grinding and cutlery shop in 1929, drawing on the experience he had gained as a shop boy over long winters spent in Germany. And so G. Lorenzi was born, a small enterprise devoted to the sale of cutlery and the sharpening of knives located in Via Montenapoleone and frequented by a refined and demanding clientele. Today the tradition of the firm is maintained by Mauro Lorenzi who, thanks to the experience acquired over more than thirty years of work in the family business, has decided to write another chapter in its history by opening a new Lorenzi Milano workshop in Piazza Filippo Meda.
Son of a craftsman, goldsmith and coral cutter, Platimiro Fiorenza took his first steps in his father’s workshop. Born in Trapani in 1944, it was as a child that he began to work gold, silver and coral, to cut his first gems, to get to know semiprecious stones. A craft that he has mastered and that he practices with great skill, producing sumptuous works of art, rich in detail and contemporary in appearance. One of his most prestigious creations is now in the Vatican Museums. For his undisputed expertise and as a worthy heir to an ancient tradition, Platimiro Fiorenza was awarded the title of MAM (‘Master of Arts and Crafts’) in 2018.
Stefano Bertoli is a young violin-maker from Milan who earned the diploma of a Master Luthier specialised in the construction of stringed instruments from the Civica Scuola di Liuteria of Milan. After applying successfully to take part in the project ‘A School, a Job. Training to Excellence’, he served his apprenticeship at the Milanese workshop of master instrument-maker Carlo Chiesa. After this experience he decided to open a workshop of his own and this year won the third ‘Artigiano del Cuore’ competition, staged by Wellmade and supported by the Fondazione Cologni.
Pablo Neruda once described Alberto Tallone as a ‘maestro de la claridad, profesor de pureza, héroe del book’ (‘master of clarity, teacher of purity, hero of the book’): qualities that can be found today in his son Enrico, who since 1973 has been running the publishing house founded by his father in Paris in 1938. After moving to Alpignano, in Piedmont, this genuine atelier of art publication has collected a whole string of marks of recognition and commendations at an international level over the years.
San Patrignano Design Lab, originally Casa d’Arte, identifies the different artisanal workshops founded in the eponymous and very well-known rehabilitation community by Vincenzo Muccioli, who was a firm believer in the power of manual work to rekindle passion and re-educate youngsters on their path to rebirth. For about ten years now, special attention has been developed here to link artisanal activities with design and to develop relations with important fashion and furniture companies. We asked Luca Giunta, to present us this activity.
Alba Gallizia, a true Milanese, architect and designer, has always been inspired by the legendary names of the 20th century for her creations: Le Corbusier, Caccia Dominioni, Ponti, Castiglioni… are her points of reference. A tireless experimenter, in 2015 she founded the brands Algares (accessories and jewellery) and Alba Gallizia Design (furniture and lighting), both based on research and on her collaboration with Italian craftsmen of a very high standard. Alba is well aware that the dialogue between design and craftsmanship is essential: this is why her work pursues the right combination of competences between mind and hands, capable of giving contemporary results in the name of the excellence and tradition.
Matteo Seguso, born in Venice in 1973, today one of the most talented engravers on glass in Murano, inherited his passion for the ancient art of engraving from his father, the master craftsman Bruno Seguso. Matteo, using a fixed lathe with interchangeable shafts and wheels, transforms glass into works of art encompassing a number of subjects - from floral to landscapes, from figurative to abstract, to the use of the “battuto” technique which creates beautiful geometric effects over the whole surface. Continually in search of new challenges and new experimentations, he encourages exchanging and sharing ideas and knowledge, and for many years he has taught the fascinating technique of engraving on glass.
Sonia Maria Luce Possentini was born in Canossa (Reggio Emilia), and divides her life and work between Canossa and Pigneto sul Secchia (Modena). After graduating in History of Art from the DAMS (University for Art, Music and performing Arts), and obtaining a diploma from the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, she studied at the Sarmede School of Illustration under Stepan Zavrel. In 2017, she received the prestigious Andersen Award for Best Illustrator and worked on the book "The plants with no name", in the Storietalentuose series edited by Fondazione Cologni for Carthusia. In 2018 she received the MAM-Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere award.
Efisio Usai was born in 1942 in Assemini (Cagliari), in Sardinia. He comes from a family which for centuries has made ceramics in Assemini, remaining loyal to some values over all these years: tradition and culture on the one hand, and passion and innovation on the other. Clay was already getting into his blood in his adolescence, when his father taught him the secrets of working with this material. In 1961 Efisio built a new workshop in the heart of Assemini, where his creations were greatly inspired by his native Sardinia. In 2018 the Fondazione Cologni honoured him as an MAM-Master of Art and Metier.
Since 2000 Massimiliano Massia has been at the head of Antica Passamaneria Massia Vittorio of Turin, founded in 1843 by his great-grandfather, a Royal Warrant Holder of the Savoy Court. The company is based in Pianezza, where the Museum of Passementerie is also located, the only one existing in Europe. The route of the visit, through historical functioning machinery used in the business, includes the story of all the phases of production and the live demonstration of some processes, together with the history and tradition of a family that for more than a century have devoted themselves with passion and great expertise to an ancient art with a contemporary appeal, today very much in vogue also in furnishing, fashion and design.
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.