The beauty steeped in history. That kind of history you do not want to hear from the others, but you want to experience yourself. Beauty that is uniqueness. That kind of uniqueness that moves people, that uniqueness everyone is somehow looking for. Beauty that is quality. The one born from passion and knowledge. It is the beauty reflected in the artisans and artists’ hands, who create something more than just material objects. They bring to life craft creations that enclose the real Italian style.
Everything you have read above is what makes the Italian design unique and recognizable. The value enclosed within every piece of furniture contributes to tell and to hand down our story.
This story is built on three fundamental values: italianness, ethic and tradition.
Three values that are at the same time cornerstone and common thread of the Italian design.
Leonardo da Vinci once said that the formal beauty is a consequence of the high quality. Well, this kind of beauty, the one that goes beyond how an object appears, is the beauty associated with the Italian products since Renaissance.
The artisans play an important role in this story. They are the beauty’s keepers and that perfectly explains why Italy has never lose touch with them.
The Italian craftsmanship was at first something strictly connected to a conservative and traditional reality. It was after the Second World War that it has become innovation-oriented, acquiring a cultural and economic importance. In that period the Italian handicrafts started being considered as pieces of art and to be exposed at the main International exhibitions.
The Italian craftsmanship played a fundamental role in the definition of the modern design, that defined our culture worldwide.
Superleggera by Gio Ponti is the perfect symbol of how artisan materials and traditions have started being integrated into modern projects.
Since the twenties Gio Ponti has been a promoter of the alliance between craftsmanship, decorative arts and design. Superleggera was created with the aim of reinterpreting the famous rush chair used by the fishermen in Chiavari, symbol of the Ligurian craftsmanship. The final result was a very technological chair, esthetically very similar to the artisanal one and realized in natural materials.
Always keeping in mind this dualism of artisanal traditions and modern projects, I would like you to close your eyes and imagine.
We are in the middle of a green area, very close to Valpolicella, Verona. Something stands out in all that green, we can see some of the biggest marble industries in Italy. But that is not everything the area has to offer. A small and messy artisan workshop makes its way among all those huge buildings and draws our attention. We get in and found ourselves in a studio that could easily remember the Michelangelo’s one. There are small statues here and there, mosaic pieces piled up and a table covered by many work tools. There is just one window in the room and the light that goes through it highlights all the specks of dust in the air.
That is where Matteo, our artisan, works on his pieces, paying a close attention to every detail as only the artists do. Looking at him at work is like traveling in the past. It is a travel through the beauty, the quality and the uniqueness. It is a travel through the traditions, the ones we should all respect. The ones we want to tell and hand down through our creations.
Ettore Sottsass said that each object should represent its time. Well, our pieces represent their time, but they take something also from the past. They keep alive the craftsmanship that maybe we should call art.