Sunday, 17 April 2011


(english version below)




"Il team di artisti, artigiani, creativi italiani su Etsy, promuove l’incontro-evento tra tecnologia e creatività al Faenas Cafè con mercatino, promozioni, mostra e corner informativi."

Alcuni shop, tra cui Elettrarossa, offriranno lo sconto del 10 %  sui prodotti esposti


MOSTRA-MERCATO delle creazioni degli ARTISTI e degli ARTIGIANI del team

PRESENTAZIONE e SLIDE SHOW del lavoro del team sugli schermi del locale 

COLLEGAMENTO STREAMING dell'evento e presa diretta via TWITTER

INFORMATION CORNER con i membri del team 



On may 13, 2011, from 8 pm  

free entrance event

at Faenas Cafè, Rome, Italy

Evening Programm

TRADE SHOW with product samples by the team's ARTISTS and ARTISANS

PRESENTATION and screen show of the work and the crafts of the team

STREAMING connection and cover of the the event via TWITTER

INFORMATION CORNER, face-to-face with the team members

Download and print your 10% discount 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A True Story about Costume Jewelry

These are my Cupid Earrings, enchanting pieces of florentine costume jewelry.

Putto, Little Angel and Cupid are different ways of calling the same figure of speech: Love. The toddler with bow and arrow belongs indeed to a timeless Love tradition: Love between the lovers, Love among the people, transcendent Love. We meet him in classic greek and roman art, then over and over again in paintings and sculptures through middle age, renaissance, baroque and modern art. Not surprisingly, it is still a sign of Love nowadays.

The wise crafters who taught me about crafting have always told me that this kind of jewelry appeared in Florence when the Americans started visiting frequently our city (a growing presence of Americans dates back to the 50's, after World War II, while what we call "mass tourism" began in the 70's).

In the city center, especially in the two southern quarters where I used to work (Diladdarno), a lot of them bought houses and created a proper community of Florence-lovers.

There were at the time many artisans which were very poor and often, without any licence, had the habit to sell their costume jewelry on the celebrated bridge called Ponte Vecchio - the only one left unhurt by the Nazis -, where the "real" jewelers (gold and gem crafters) have their boutiques.

The presence of the Americans was like a manna from heaven to those crafters. And so they used their creativity to come as close as possible to the taste of the rich foreigners (surely rich with respect to them).

And that's the origin of the kind of costume jewelry that I make myself and that nowadays is mostly considered properly Italian. And it is, finally. Nevertheless, the truth is that it is a fusion-jewelry, coming out from the Renaissance imaginary which the Americans seemed to appreciate very much and the less expensive techniques of the time, such as the usage of the metal bathed in 14 carats gold (especially red gold, containing high levels of copper).

Of course, the crafters were able to put all demands together without effort, thanks to the knowledge of the notorious "botteghe".

My earrings are a legacy of that attempt. An attempt, I have to admit, that was very successful. The gilt costume jewelry was sold so easily indeed that the poor artisans ended up rich themselves.

Due to the fact that I do not have a lab here, I didn't gild the earrings and bracelets you may see here, but I believe that's not the most important fact, since that operation can be done in every moment.

To have an idea of the complete outcome:


I'm very concerned about the slow disappearing of the techniques we are talking about, that until now had been renewed from time to time by young artists. Up to one years ago, there were only few labs left which continued to handcraft in such a way without big factories involved.

I'd like for hand made goods to be really encouraged. Waiting for that moment to come, I believe that marketplaces such as Etsy can help in the task of preserving this niche of products, products that signify more than we think, being the result of a special human bounds among peoples, territories, competences and much more.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Irrational Side of Fashion.

(Italian version below/ Segue versione in italiano)

Is fashion as whimsical as the irish sky or does it follow predictable rules?
Well, changeability is part of fashion as we know it, but the way it changes... that's another matter.
For instance, after The Devil wears Prada, we all know that trends are decided by big factories and imposed by media. Is fashion then another expression of heartless capitalism?
Yes it is. But it's not enough to explain the fashion-fascination.
Both as mainstream art or niche craft, it's no wonder fashion belongs to creativity, to the same speechless vision which leads the artists. And that's the reason why unconscious issues should definitely rest down there, at the very heart of vogue.

Is fashion though subject to the realm of irrationality?

Not that much. But there's neither so much rationality at work, for instance, in the sophistication of the body. I mean, what about the overstuffed shoulders of women in the 80's, in comparison with the big breast of the tribal idols or with the exaggerate hips of the French court?

I think those sophistications are more than the signature of a single stylist. They are basically a psycho-mirror of the present issues we deal with, as society.
However, there's a naive form of poetry also in the way fashion stylists pretend to transgress social codes: think about the link among fur, feathers and the femme fatale. Yet, how old are you?
The point is that fashion tells us more than some corporations' branding success. Fashion gives a voice to timeless, common desires. So, it should be fine to believe that imagination does use powerful, evil corporations to channel and amplify its secret message, rather than the opposite.

All that stands out when you visits the Etsy shops. The message is kind of more clear without the disturbing mediation of advertising, shining signals and fashion statements. When I'm looking at the etsians' products, I can't help myself from thinking these are actually the things people like. I stay enchanted and astonished for hours, feeling I'm in the place where the new trends and ideas are coming out every day. Down there, Where The Wild Things Are.

Il lato irrazionale della moda.

La moda e' capricciosa come il cielo irlandese o segue regole prevedibili?

Be', il continuo cambiamento fa parte della moda per definizione, ma il modo in cui cambia...e' tutta un'altra questione.

Per esempio, dopo Il Diavolo Veste Prada, tutti noi sappiamo che le tendenze sono decise dalle grandi aziende e poi imposte dai media. La moda e' dunque un'altra espressione di un Capitalismo senza cuore? Si', in effetti. Ma questo non basta a spiegare la fashion-fascinazione.

Sia intesa come forma d'arte commerciale o come artigianato di nicchia, non e' peregrino pensare che la moda appartenga alla creatività e quindi alla stessa muta visione che guida l'artista. Ed e' in virtù di questo che per certo delle ragioni inconsce riposano la' in fondo, al cuore di quel che fa tendenza.

La moda, quindi, sarebbe ora schiava della irrazionalità? Non poi così tanto. Non c'e pero' nemmeno tutta questa razionalità, ad esempio, nella sofisticazione del corpo. Voglio dire, che pensare delle spalle imbottite imposte alle donne negli anni ottanta, se paragonate ai seni enormi degli idoli tribali o ai fianchi esagerati in voga alla corte di Francia?

Penso che queste sofisticazioni siano più della firma di un singolo stilista. Sono fondamentalmente uno psico-specchio delle situazioni che, di volta in volta, ci troviamo ad affrontare come società.

In ogni caso, c'e una forma di poesia naïf anche nel modo in cui gli stilisti pensano di trasgredire i codici sociali: pensiamo al collegamento tra pellicce, piume e la femme fatale. Suvvia, ma quanti anni avete?

Il punto e' che la moda dice più del successo di alcune compagnie nel consolidare il loro marchio. La moda da' voce a desideri comuni e senza tempo. Quindi, dovrebbe esser lecito dire che magari e' l'immaginazione ad usare le crudeli e potenti aziende di cui sopra, per canalizzare e trasmettere il suo messaggio segreto, piuttosto che il contrario.

Tutto questo salta agli occhi quando visiti i negozi Etsy. Il messaggio e' più chiaro senza la mediazione disturbante della pubblicità, della segnaletica luccicante e le “dichiarazioni di stile”. Quando guardo i prodotti degli etsiani, non posso evitare di pensare che quelle sono le cose che davvero piacciono alla gente. Resto incantata e rapita per ore, sentendo di essere nel posto dove nuove idee e tendenze vengono fuori ogni giorno. La' in fondo, Where The Wild Things Are.