Our merchandising team took a journey across the Atlantic to visit our artisans in Italy. Anna, our copywriter, kept a travel log of the trip to share her experience with our Uno Alla Volta family.
“One major theme I noticed through our vendor visits was the tug of war between technology and tradition. While all our artisans have access to the same technology as us, they often choose to do things the old-fashioned way. For example, while I take notes on my iPhone, almost all of our vendors took notes on paper, with their smartphones and laptops laying beside them. Their workshops embodied utility, with things often organized into simple sandwich bags or mason jars. The adage “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” seemed to permeate their lives.
“This was most abundantly clear when we met with Mariagrazia. I have so often been struck by the intricacy of her hand-beaded work, but when I saw her production system I was even more blown away. She keeps a small piece of paper with a “recipe” for each design next to the prototype, then creates all the other pieces to be exactly like the first. I couldn’t believe that such a simple organizational system could be behind such intricate designs, but there was Mariagrazia, showing us all how beautifully uncomplicated things could really be.
“Another example of this concept was at Maria Pitau’s glassmaking workshop. There, she explained that each color of glass has to be poured into a separate ceramic pot, so the colors won’t become mixed and muddled during production. After some time, the pots became so full of layers of dyed glass that there isn’t enough room left inside them. Side by side, they resemble Easter egg dying cups, with each stained a different color. What do they do with these accidentally beautiful, unusable vessels, you ask? They give them to Lisa, our Italian representative, to use as flowerpots. In the true spirit of conservation, nothing is ever wasted.”
–Anna, Queen of Editorial
To read more of our artisan stories, visit the rest of our blog here.