The “Capitaneuncine” tale

For sure artisanship is communication. It’s the spreading of stories, traditions, choices, expertise. And artisanship and communication come together also in the story of Elena Fois, journalist, who started a few months ago, with her friend Renata Marrone, the project “Capitaneuncine”: “a duo that sings a bit out of time – as they are presenting themselves on Instagram – but that tries so hard. We can say that we knit, make crochet, sew, and sometimes we stay in the garage dedicating to carpentry, smoothing and buffing wood”. 

The starting point of this adventure is the creative haberdashery’s “Callegari Creazioni” in Chivasso, retail sale and also a workshop, where classes are held and people can meet “maybe just to knit in good company”. Elena used to take care of the communication and social media and, in the meantime, attended the classes. Here she came to know Renata, her teacher: little by little a project took shape and was realized together. “She is accurate, I am unruly.  We create knitted or crocheted objects, to wear, but also for the house décor. We have opened a small shop on Etsy and the feedback is good”. “In our work – she adds – we are very attentive to the choice of materials; we prefer yarn from the sustainable supply chain with natural colors or we choose wool coming from breedings that do not exploit the sheep”.

And still, we keep an eye on recycling, “for example, I pick up on my own in the country next to my home the pieces of wood that can be useful for some creations, then I smooth and buff them. In the same way, we recycle old fabrics and buttons.” “An itinerary – Elena remembers – that started when, a few years ago, I decided to leave my permanent job. I carry that experience in my ‘baggage’ and it will always be important to me, but, likewise, I think I have regained slowness and my true rhythm. My days start early in the morning, before my son’s wake-up, and keep on flowing, working, studying and reading, until late in the night”

The “Capitanuncine” do not merely create objects, but they narrate their stories, like the one of “Ettore”, a wall decoration, completely handmade. “Ettore is so-called because it’s the first one we have created – she explains – and it was a gift for a kid of this name”. “We often use social media, they are very important for our job, especially in these last months, when no flea markets were allowed due to the Covid. We use social media in order not only to sell but also to narrate the stories of the products we manufacture”.

Thinking about the future Elena says: “I’d like to work as an artisan, though maintaining the possibility to narrate what I do. I’d like to create a website dedicated to knitting, crochet making, retracing the history of this craft over years, taking historical insights, posting interviews with famous testimonials”. The lockdown has fostered the re-discovery of knitting: “yes, people have become aware that we don’t talk about Grandma’s works – Elena smiles – I often knit whilst listening to my favorite metal music”. “It’s ongoing a re-discovery of Artisanship – she states – many communities of people are approaching these activities. I have connections all over Italy, artisans with whom we start talking about work and end discussing about our children, our lives”.

Among the difficulties encountered is “making understand the value of our own work, of handmade. And this is a path that should start with us, we don’t have to belittle our work, we have to value and defend the right price. I hope that people will understand – she concludes – but I’m confident, the signs are there. Maybe also these hard times that we are still living in, have made us understand the right value of maybe small objects, but handmade with a careful choice of materials”.