The interview of this month is dedicated to Eugenio Monti Colla of Puppetry Company Colla and Sons.
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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.