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.
Tell us how the idea of Stories of Italy came to your minds.
The idea was born after a working period abroad, in North Europe and Asia. There we noticed the presence of big Italian luxury brands, but the almost total absence of the numerous Italian craft excellent productions.
Also, of course, the motivation came from some personal events. We wanted to come back to Italy, but neither of us wanted to work in fashion again. Our main aim was to experiment new materials and work again with some artisanal realities.
What inspires you most for the creation of your pieces? What kind of aesthetic do you look for?
We always start from a concept, a symbol, a classic shape. We start from our roots. We translate them into our aesthetic, modern and clean, searching for a thin and not easy balance between modern and “timeless”, proper of classicism and of great Italian craft traditions.
Design, craftsmanship and art are the three main ingredients of your creations. How do you match them?
Through a wide research. In the beginning we deeply study a theme, then we visually reinterpret it through images, sketches, photos and notes. This is a very important step to understand which is the meaning that we want to give to the piece. At the same time we experiment new materials and shapes in our laboratory, trying to transfer these impressions to our artisans so that they can create with their own hands a real object that can tell the story we were looking for.
Which manufacturing districts do you work with?
Our favourite one is the Murano district. The glass is at the moment our greatest passion. We work also with Carrara marble and Albisola ceramic.
How do you choose your artisans and what kind of relationship do you have with them?
The choice is a very empathic one. We go on site and meet in person some craftsmen to see and evaluate together their archive, but most of all to understand if they are sufficiently curious and available to easily work together. What we look for, on top of the technical skills, are an optimistic attitude and an availability to increase their own knowledge.
Starting from one of your most representative objects, tell us which were the steps that you followed to create it: from the idea to the final shape.
Our first piece, Dattero, has become also the most representative one. It consist in a vase for one flower only in Murano blown glass. We started from some small Roman flasks we saw in a museum that were used in the past, maybe for balms and precious ointments.
Very few of them remained scratchless till today, both for the fragility of the glass and because most of them were usually melted and reused.
We immediately fell in love with them and they still look modern to us. In this case we worked on their dimensions, turning them from flasks to vases, and on their materical preciousness, using a Murano glass coloured in amber and dip four times in crystal with the technique of the sommerso.
A technique normally used with smooth layers, while instead we wanted our piece to be wrinkled and waved, both for a formal reference to the fruit’s peel and to emphasize the amber colour.
Which are you future projects?
At the moment we are working on a series of exclusive vases for the S. Bensimon Gallery in Paris, that we will present on September 8th 2017 on the occasion of the Paris Design Week. We are also working on our third custom-made project for the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence. It consists in a glass for water, a reinterpretation in amethyst colour of a model presented at the last Fuori Salone in our collection #TEMPOCOLLECTION. Three hundred mouth-blown glasses blown in wooden molds and then shaped by hand.