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.