Should anybody ask me about my most ancient and spontaneous olfactive memory, I would answer the wood lacquer laying in two overused pots in my father’s restorer and ebonist workshop in Torino, Via Bellezia 5. It was longtime before this street was included in the “Roman Quadrangle” area, so pleasantly popular nowadays among locals and tourists. The smells, fragrances for me, in that humid, messy studio where the more technological tool was the drafting machine, are lodged in my heart and their memory has never vanished. Since then, even if I was just a child, a true passion was born and got growing in me for handicraft in all its multiple expressions, and for everybody who “makes by hand” with creativity, effort, commitment. My studies have then taken me elsewhere, but now that I’m an adult, I better understand that oftentimes in life encounters happen that are far from casual. Just like the one with my friend Chiara, who shares with me the same fascination for the artisan expertise and for the stories of those who carry them forward. Here comes the idea to invent a website focused on our “artisan” Torino.
city may be discovered and described through many different perspectives. Some of them are more visible: its squares, its monuments, its peculiarities, the already-known faces. Others are more silent, maybe a little “pummeled” by the rapid evolution of a more and more technological, digital, visual society, and now by the devastating effects of the virus, also the economic one, nevertheless still here suggesting stories, sometimes lasting decades. They are the artisan workshops, from the smallest and unknown ones to those best known. Workshops that narrate family histories, but also the adventure of whom, after a long trip, has chosen Torino as a new home, bringing here his/her mastery, colors, perfumes.
“Hand Made”, this is how we chose to call our website, has this very aim: go and search, walking along the streets in Torino, entering courtyards, listening, maybe, through some “word of mouth”, the world of the artisan workshops, creating, little by little, a map, an itinerary to discover, or perhaps rediscover, a different and unique nature of our “little Paris”. Come with us!
I enthusiastically at once accepted Chiara and Adelaide’s proposal of translating in English the “HandMade” website pages. What a wonderful opportunity to unveil the secrets of the handicraft creativity, come to know the protagonists and concretely contributing in giving them visibility abroad! Furthermore, in the past four years, living in Manhattan, I’ve had the chance to see how foreigners truly love the “Made in Italy”, not only the main luxury Brands, but especially those smaller priceless realities spangling New York City. That’s what I call “Made by Italians”, and I intend men and women who weren’t afraid to accept a challenging inheritance or to re-invent a new professionality in order to proudly assert the Italian Style.
And if the translation won’t be perfect, pardon me, the intent is not to translate the words, but to transmit the passion!
“Every nation, if it intends to remain strong, must have a manufacturing base” the quote from Chris Anderson embodies the meaning of this project together with my interest in the world of craftsmanship. A coalescence of worlds made of creativity, precision and a lot of dedication that inspires me to narrate realities often time little known. I like to write, film and tell the “handmade world”.