"What is Italian Craftsmanship?"
Italy has a rich history in handcrafted art, dating back to the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t until the Renaissance that these artisans began to be recognized for the artistic merit of their detailed masterpieces. Italian handcrafts include works ranging from ceramics and metallurgy to stone, glass, and woodwork, all meticulously created by hand by artisans who have perfected their craft. They are part of a living tradition, where the skills are passed on verbally from generation to generation and learned through hands-on practice while watching and working side by side with their parents, grandparents, and other Master Craftsmen. Each hand made piece is created one by one, resulting in high quality, unique products, each one carrying with it a centuries-old Italian legacy.
Murano is a small Island north of Venice, famous for its hand blown glass art. The first glass furnace arrived in Murano from Venice at the end of the 13th century to prevent fires in Venice, and Murano quickly became the epicenter for glass manufacturing and exporting. Murano glassmakers use a glassblowing process that is over 1000 years old, based on a Medieval Roman technique that they have been developing and enhancing for centuries. The liquid glass can be mixed with other minerals to add distinct colors and vibrant designs. This hot glass mixture is then mouth-blown by Master glassmakers and handcrafted using iron tools and special techniques to create elaborate glass products, resulting in an artistry unlike any other glass products in the world.
Nove is a small comune in the North-eastern province of Vicenza, Italy. It is well known for its network of ceramic industries, and has earned the nickname “the City of Ceramics”. The first artisans in this area began using this clay to create pottery, a tradition that has continued in Nove for over 300 years. The first ceramics factory was built in the 1700s and is still active today.Italian artisans have used the same process to create their ceramics for 500 years, using the basic elements of earth, water, and fire to create beautiful pieces of functional art, often painting intricate designs freehand, before the final firing to complete the piece.
Carrara is located in a valley of the Apuan Alps in Northern Tuscany, Italy. Carrara Marble is a white, or sometimes blue-grey marble that has been used to create some of Italy’s most inspiring and well known architecture and sculpture since the time of the ancient Romans, including the Pantheon in Rome and Michelangelo’s David. After creating his masterpiece, David from this marble, Michelangelo was drawn back to the crystalline beauty of Carrara marble and he visited the quarries many times throughout his life to personally hand-select each piece of marble that would be used for his next masterpiece.
Brescia lies at the foot of the Alps in Lombardy, Italy. It was founded over 3,200 years ago, and is home to the best-preserved Roman public buildings in northern Italy. Brescia is steeped in history and is home to the Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum, which is one of the largest collections of ancient weapons and armour. Marzoli’s collection is full of examples of the important traditional weapons produced in Brescia and surrounding areas in Lombardy; the detailed engravings and etchings on the armour and weapons display the exceptional skill and artistry of the Brescian master craftsmen.