Sancesario Bijoux: precious, timeless jewels

The arti­san tra­di­tion is mostly foun­ded on a strong fami­ly lega­cy, which ena­bles it to endu­re the hard­ships of life. In our post­card, here is the sto­ry of San­ce­sa­rio bro­thers, for 40 years now com­mit­ted to the rea­li­za­tion of exqui­si­te, uni­que bijoux. Two small pre­cious ‘bou­ti­ques’ embed­ded in the arti­sans’ cen­ter of Roma are the attrac­ti­ve sites, whi­le a work­shop in Via Boc­cea is the bea­ting heart of their activity.

Today’s inter­viewee is Emi­lio San­ce­sa­rio, the second brother.

Good mor­ning. Your busi­ness star­ted exac­tly 40 years ago, in 1981. Would you tell us who or what intro­du­ced you to this world?

Actual­ly, for me, for us, it was not the case of inhe­ri­ting a fami­ly lega­cy, as it often occurs with arti­sa­nal works. We can say we have been an excep­tion, due to fami­ly neces­si­ties. When I was 21 years old, I had to come up with a job, and with no masters, no trai­ning, I star­ted to buy lit­tle com­po­nen­ts, com­bi­ne them toge­ther, sol­der and refi­ne them, not for­get­ting the pas­sion for colors that I had alrea­dy tried to express on can­vas. It was far from easy: lit­tle by lit­tle I have shar­pe­ned my crea­ti­vi­ty, impro­ved my manual skill… I have rein­ven­ted myself! Then, when I had con­so­li­da­ted my posi­tion, I’ve cal­led in to join me my bro­ther fir­st (who sad­ly pas­sed away some years ago), and then my sister. We also have some co-workers.

How is your work, your coo­pe­ra­tion (sym­bio­sis) orga­ni­zed? Which are the spe­ci­fic (arti­stic, manual) tasks of each one?

The work fol­lo­ws a path that starts with the desi­gn and ends with the sale. A true, com­ple­te manu­fac­tu­ring pro­cess, that needs the maxi­mum care in eve­ry pha­se. And each moment in this path requi­res us, the arti­sans, to enga­ge in the same crea­ti­ve and orga­ni­za­tio­nal pro­cess. And I would also add emotional.
The idea for a bijou can ari­se from infi­ni­te kinds of sug­ge­stions: from a color, a sha­pe, an emo­tion. And right after the ‘making’ of the pie­ce begins, put­ting the idea on the wor­k­bench, a fire brick on which the bur­ning fla­me desi­gns, sol­der, assem­ble the raw metals, impress the yet unfi­ni­shed forms, in order to com­ple­te the fir­st pha­se of the crea­ti­ve process.
Here comes the other craf­tsman, who accom­plish the bijou with the set­ting or the threa­ding, or yet the enchai­ning of the stones.
Roles, tho­se of the arti­sans, that often switch one to the other, in a fle­xi­ble sym­bio­sis, whe­re all are crea­tors and crafters.

As con­cerns the mate­rials, whe­re do they come from? Which are your favo­ri­te ones?

We still suc­ceed, but with grea­ter and grea­ter dif­fi­cul­ties to retrie­ve our mate­rials a bit in Ita­ly, Euro­pe, America.

Due to the clo­su­re, in this last deca­de, of seve­ral arti­sa­nal acti­vi­ties, many firms making com­po­nen­ts for acces­so­ries have stop­ped their pro­duc­tion, most of all for the inva­sion of pro­duc­ts coming from Chi­na, and this resul­ts in a loss in the ran­ge of the sup­ply chain.

We use brass, cop­per, sil­ver, glas­ses, cry­stals, sto­nes, and natu­ral pearls. Abo­ve all, we look for high-qua­li­ty mate­rials, that ena­ble us more signi­fi­cant manufactures

Your pie­ces are one-of-a-kind: some­ti­mes of clas­si­cal inspi­ra­tion, some­ti­mes of modern, essen­tial cut… Any models in your imagery?

It’s inte­re­sting how a modern desi­gn may find inspi­ra­tion from the past, and not only from the most recent one but even in the fir­st jewels of humanity.

We draw from the Renais­san­ce and Art Nou­veau manu­fac­tu­re and we like, some­ti­mes, stray­ing in a more modern, essen­tial inspiration.

We would love to crea­te a bijou for a woman born in a pri­mi­ti­ve era and now tra­ve­ling to Mars.

I ima­gi­ne it can hap­pen to recei­ve custo­mi­zed requests about mate­rials, sha­pes, and size by deman­ding clien­ts. Which one was the ‘riche­st’ pro­po­sal, and the most peculiar?

The most ori­gi­nal one and may­be the ‘cra­zie­st’ has been the reque­st for a pen­dant in the sha­pe of a ‘blen­der’… The ‘riche­st’, the one for a series of bijoux recal­ling the Impe­rial Rome.

The pan­de­mic, with its nega­ti­ve impact also on the arti­stic and arti­sa­nal acti­vi­ties, has urged to seek diver­se stra­te­gies. Your web­si­te, espe­cial­ly, is an ama­zing exam­ple of onli­ne mar­ke­ting. Have the resul­ts been positive?

Due to the pan­de­mic, and the sub­se­quent decrea­se in sales, we had to re-think a lot of things. It has been a few years that by means of social media and our web­si­te, we are able to show and sell our pro­duc­ts also abroad. In the­se last mon­ths, we are more and more inve­sting in onli­ne mar­ke­ting, none­the­less try­ing to pro­mo­te the hand­ma­de and human con­ten­ts of our production.

For sure your crea­ti­vi­ty never stops. Any other short or long-term projects?

Crea­ti­vi­ty is abso­lu­te­ly nee­ded to endu­re this period. The pro­ject does not imply any tem­po­ral limi­ta­tion, it only needs the cou­ra­ge and the wish to make still exi­st in the sto­ry of huma­ni­ty a pro­duct, wha­te­ver it could be, which is born from the mind, the heart, and the hands of a human being.