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My path started at a very young age by seeing my grandfather sculpting for passion in the garage, in the wintertime, when he was interrupting his job. I immediately realised that I loved working with my hands and building things: from the age of 12 until today I have never stopped. When I was a teenager, I slowly started with drawing, and later with wood sculpture, attending a “bottega-scuola” in my region. Then I continued my studies in Val Gardena, in Ortisei. I owe a lot to these two experiences.
I started doing this job far too early, unfortunately or fortunately, out of inexperience, as I had not yet consolidated the necessary foundations to make it a real job. But after realising this, I decided not to waste a single second to achieve the goals I had set for myself in order to grow. Even now I am still going in this direction.
I mainly draw inspiration from my surroundings and the human figure in general. But what gives me most satisfaction is the creative process, often more than the finished work.
I do not have a favourite one. I learn new things with each piece, and I am very grateful for that. So I consider them all equally important.
The space where my grandfather used to carve was the garage of a hotel located at 1800 metres altitude, surrounded by nature and at the foot of beautiful mountains. As a child, I was strongly influenced by the beauty that surrounded me, more by nature than by the people who lived there. I believe that my connection with the land where I was born is closer to nature and animals than to the history of its people, without taking anything away from the people who inhabit this wonderful land.
But I used to sculpt as a child because I liked doing it, I don't come from a family of artisans, like those who, for generations, have taken part in the Sant'Orso fair after spending the season in the alpine pastures, and then come down to the valley to sell typical objects. I did not have that kind of experience, nor did my parents; perhaps my grandparents did when they were young, but that experience did not reach me. However, if it had not been for this tradition, my grandfather probably would not have
carved in the garage, and today I don't know if I would have become a sculptor; I don't know if I would have developed a passion for sculpture. So I owe a lot to the land where I was born and to its people.
The time required to realise large works varies greatly depending on the type of sculpture and its complexity. It can take from one month to six months, up to a year, and this depends on many variables. The steps are more or less always the same: I start with a sketch on paper, then proceed to the creation of the scale model in three dimensions, and finally to the realisation of the final sculpture, exactly as the great masters of the Renaissance did.
They are usually private clients, but sometimes also public institutions. To be honest, the most interesting work realised so far does not exist, because I find them all interesting, especially in the execution phase, and often also for the end result. I do not have a favourite one. I learn new things with each piece, and I am very grateful for that. So I consider them all equally important.
This is a difficult question for me, because it is still not clear to me what this means. If we mean Valle d'Aosta sculptural tradition or its craftsmanship, there is practically nothing traditional in my work at the moment. Since I am a sculptor, what I mean for tradition is the work of the masters of Renaissance sculpture: Donatello, Michelangelo, Bernini, Canova... but also the contemporary ones. To this day I do not know how to combine this tradition with innovation, and I am still looking for a way to do it. But I can say that in recent years I see, especially among young people of my age and younger, that there are fewer and fewer people with a good know-how in crafts. The quality is not what it used to be, and I consider this a great loss: to create with one's own hands something extremely difficult is good for the soul. I cannot imagine a machine or technology replacing this experience.
At the moment my plan is to grow continuously from a technical point of view, and to pursue my way. And I will see where this will take me, moment by moment.
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.