What Does “One At A Time” Mean?

Dear Friends-

As many of you know, the name Uno Alla Volta is Italian for one at a time, which is how each of our handmade treasures is created. To reflect on the true meaning of this phrase, I implore you to peer at your children, who, even with near identical genes, have so many differences in their appearances and personalities. Even identical twins have distinguishing marks and mannerisms separating them from their counterparts. Pick two leaves off a tree or two petals off a flower, and you will see how no two things are precisely the same shape or have the same patterns or striations. If you want to get really into this experiment, bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and try to find two that are indistinguishable from one another. Impossible!

Our handmade treasures are no different. Often, we will hold two of the “same” items in our hands and observe slight variations in color, texture, pattern and shape. Because of the centuries-old artisan traditions used to create these pieces, the item you receive may not look perfectly identical to the item pictured, and there is so much magic behind this variance. As you know, the only way to produce virtually identical products is through the cold compliance of a machine. Instead, our products tell the complete story of a moment frozen in time. Slight changes in temperature, shifts in hand movements, or even production changes, such as an artisan running out of a skein of fabric, will slightly alter the final product. All of these variables come together in the finished pieces to tell full and elaborate origin stories. Through these so-called imperfections, our treasures take on individual identities, not unlike snowflakes or seashells. They have more history and more soul than factory-made products. Handcrafted one at a time by skilled artisans across the world, our handmade pieces are sure to surprise and delight you with their rich histories and uniqueness.

Gratefully yours,

 

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To reflect on the true meaning of “one at a time”, I implore you to peer at your children, who, even with near identical genes, have so many differences in their appearances and personalities.

Happy Halloweekend! Discover Our “Best Of” Halloween Treasures

Celebrate the weekend before Halloween with some of our five-star customer favorites!

2017 Halloween Polish Pottery

Back by popular demand, our 2017 Edition Polish Pottery is here! In the village of Boleslawiec, artisans hand-paint each collectible Polish stoneware piece with a Halloween pattern. Each meticulously adorned ceramic treasure is hand-painted using traditional folk art methods. Halloween motifs are stamped on with hand-carved sea sponges and details are added with fine brushwork. To preserve these detailed images, our artisans glaze each piece and fire at high temperatures to bring you an everlasting beauty you will want to display for years to come.

2017 Edition Polish Pottery Jack-O’-Lantern

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2017 Edition Polish Pottery Halloween Mug

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“See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” Halloween Ghost Figurine

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Colorado artisan Gwen likens her craft to painting with clay, creating each figurine uno alla volta. Each figure features three “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” not-so-spooky Halloween ghosts defying gravity as they float atop a marbleized autumn leaf, joined by brightly colored pumpkins at their base.

Hand-Gilded Jack-O’-Lantern Wine Glass

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In a third-generation workshop in Verona, Italy, Amedeo and his two sons, Valentino and Roberto, transform ordinary glass into luminous works of art. After applying stucco jack-o’-lanterns to the glass, a layer of gold leaf is added by hand, then brushed with translucent glazes. Once completely dry, each is hand-polished to a gleaming luster.

JoAnn’s Witch’s Legs Mug

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If you’re looking for the perfect Halloween mug, then look no further than this adorable ceramic Witch’s Legs Mug! From her studio in the Pocono Mountains, our potter JoAnn hand-throws each mug on her wheel and completes it with a handcrafted ghost decoration and handle. Fired, glazed and fired again, no two ceramic mugs are exactly alike.

Stitched Felt Witch Mouse

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For 36 years, our artisan located on the western shore of Lake Michigan has been dressing mice for the holidays. This whimsical mouse, with handmade stitched felt body, glass-bead eyes and nose, and mouse-sized costume, is ready for some “spook-tacular” Halloween fun.

Kim’s Black Cat And Pumpkin Necklace

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As a child, she could often be found watching her mother paint. Surrounded by art supplies and found objects, Kim’s creative passion was fueled. Kim takes a whimsical turn with our millefiori black cat and pumpkin necklace, made exclusively for Uno Alla Volta. In her California studio, the joy she finds in working the vibrantly colored clay in her hands brings her delightful creations to life as she layers multiple strips of colorful polymer clay, which are then stretched and pulled into canes and sliced into thin cross sections. Kim then adorns our whimsical millefiori black cat and pumpkin necklace with beaded accents.

“Shimmering Glenda” Dichroic Glass Witch Figurine

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No matter which way you glance at her, our “Shimmering Glenda” dichroic glass Halloween witch figurine will be twinkling back at you. Karen, our southern California glass artisan, has been creating dazzling standup sculptures of dichroic glass for years, but this is her first “person” ever. She creates each figurine uno alla volta, by hand-cutting glass and fusing the pieces together in a kiln.

Click to shop our entire Halloween shop for last minute treasures!

 

Product Spotlight: The Tree of Life

The concept of the “Tree of Life” has been passed down for thousands of years and can be found in the legends and mythologies of cultures throughout the world.

In the Native American myth from the Iroquois, The World on the Turtle’s Back, the tree of life is found in the heavens among the first humans until a pregnant women falls and lands in an endless sea. She is saved from drowning by a giant turtle, upon which she forms the world by planting bark from the tree.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the Tree of Life was the representation of the chain of events that brought all things into existence, and that it represents the order, process, and method of creation.

For the Ancient Celts, the Tree of Life was a symbol for harmony and balance. The idea of the individual branches of trees coming together to form a forest, linking together and creating an ecosystem in which thousands of forms of life can live in peace.

At Uno Alla Volta, our artisans are often inspired by the beauty of nature and the mysticism of mythology, so it makes sense that several of our artisans have created treasures inspired by the concept of “The Tree of Life”.

“Tree Of Life” Glass Paperweight

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This “Tree Of Life” glass paperweight was handcrafted by our master glass blowers in Washington. To create each one, molten glass is heated to over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, and then rolled in colored powders, creating iridescence by adding gold leaf and dichroic glass to the surface.

Click to browse our entire collection of paperweights

 

Katherine’s Rainbow Chakra “Tree Of Life” Necklace

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The colored gems on our artisan Katherine’s necklace represent chakras, or sacred energy points in the body, while the strong tree itself represents the link between heaven and earth.

Joyita’s “Tree Of Life” Devore Silk Scarf

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Drawing inspiration from the lush colors of California’s forests, Joyita masterfully creates each “Tree Of Life” scarf in devore silk.

Click to read more artisan moments on our blog

Get Ready for Halloween with Our Seasonal Italian Treasures

At Uno Alla Volta, we are endlessly inspired by the beauty of Italy and the exquisite craftsmanship that comes with it. After all, our name is Italian for one at a time! We are continuously amazed by the stunning treasures that our Italian artisans continue to create, year after year. Their creativity brings us treasures for nearly every occasion – Halloween included!

In Italy, Halloween comes from the concept of “All Hallows Eve”, the night before All Saint’s Day, or Festa di Tutti i Santi in Italian. November 1st is a national holiday in the country, which celebrates all of the Catholic saints. The custom of dressing up the night before has started to become popular in Italy and other European countries that have borrowed the concept from many Anglophone countries, especially America. Knowing this, it makes sense that our Italian artisans are happy to create festive treasures for the occasion!

Celebrate Halloween with the European flair of these festive Italian treasures.

Letizia’s Florentine Fabric Treasures

Our Florentine artisan, Letizia collects vintage fabrics from local Italian markets which she uses to handcraft each treasure. First, she hand-stitches the fabric together and then she fills each with stuffing and finishes it with intricate details and final touches.

Letizia’s 2017 Edition Florentine Kitchen Witch

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Letizia of Florence delivers another Halloween masterpiece with this 2017 edition “La Befana” kitchen witch!

Read more about La Befana and the legend behind her in our product spotlight blog post.

Letizia’s Owl Ornaments

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Letizia’s Florentine Owl Door Stop

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Letizia’s Blue Fabric Pumpkin

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Alessandra and Valentina’s Halloween Jewelry

Our Italian artisans, Valentina and Alessandra, handcraft this Venetian glass charm Halloween necklace and pumpkin earrings with great skill and precision as they meticulously design and hand-string each bead. They combine their passion with their creative impulses as they hand make each piece, uno alla volta. This Halloween jewelry will add a sweet and spooky touch to any ensemble.

Venetian Glass Halloween Charm Necklace

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Pumpkin Venetian Glass Earrings

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The Campanella Family’s Murano Glass Halloween Treasures

On Venice’s isle of Murano, the Campanella family puts its own stamp on the long tradition of Venetian glass artistry.  Livio, who learned his craft alongside several of Murano’s legendary glass makers, is joined by his three children and extended family as they use time-honored techniques to create extraordinary works of art in glass, uno alla volta.

Yellow Murano Millefiori Pumpkin Glass Sculpture from the Campanella Family

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Green and Yellow Murano Glass Millefiori Pumpkin

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Green and Purple Murano Glass Millefiori Pumpkin

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Click to read more artisan moments on our blog

 

Toast to Halloween With Our Autumnal Wine Glasses

The kids may be going out trick-or-treating this year, but take time to treat yourself with a fall-ready beverage in our festive wine glasses!  Wind down (or get wound up!) with your favorite Halloween movie and some Apple Cider Sangria from celebratingsweets.com.

Apple Cider Sangria

This apple cider sangria is filled with white wine, apple cider, apply brandy, apples, oranges, and cranberries – a fun and festive drink for all your holiday gatherings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
  • 2 ½ cups apple cider
  • 1/3 cup apple brandy (optional)
  • 2 apples sliced
  • 1 orange halved and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir until well combined. Refrigerate for several hours. Serve chilled.

To share with the whole family, replace the white wine with a sparkling cider and skip the apple brandy.

Next, enjoy in any of these fun and festive autumnal wine glasses!

Amedeo’s Hand-Gilded Wine Glasses of Verona

After graduating from art school, Amedeo founded his glass workshop in Verona, Italy. From the time his sons Valentino and Roberto were old enough to hold a paint brush, they have worked alongside their father, becoming expert craftsmen and artisans in their own right. Today, the three transform ordinary glass into luminous works of art, one at a time.

Hand-Gilded Jack-O’-Lantern Wine Glass

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Hand-Gilded Grapevine Wine Glass

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Amedeo’s Maple Leaves Wine Glasses

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Christina’s Owl Hand-Painted Wine Glass

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This owl wine glass was hand-painted by Christina of Northern California. The team here at Uno Alla Volta continues to be astonished by the level of skill and artistry that goes into every piece of hand-painted glassware she creates.

Click to see the matching beer mug!

Read more artisan moments on our blog

Enter our Halloween Shop And Discover the History of Jack-O-Lanterns

Halloween is creeping up on us – get ready with some spooky (and not so spooky) Halloween treasures in our Halloween shop.

Our Halloween shop is sprouting full of Jack-O’-Lanterns galore – have you ever wondered about how such a staple in Halloween came to be?

The practice began centuries ago in Ireland where, instead of pumpkins, potatoes and turnips were used to carve spooky faces. From Irish folklore comes the legend of “Stingy Jack”, who invited the Devil to have a drink with him. As his name suggests, Jack was not keen on the idea of paying for the Devil’s drinks, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin to use to pay for their drinks. The Devil conceded, but Jack decided to keep the money and put it in his pocket beside a silver cross that would prevent the Devil from turning back into his original self. After long, Jack decided to free the Devil under the condition that he would not disturb Jack for a year, and that if he died, the Devil would not take his soul.

As one year came to a close, the Devil came back for Jack. Jack tricked the Devil yet again by convincing him to climb into a tree for a piece of fruit. When the Devil climbed up the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the bark so that the Devil could not come down until he promised Jack that he would not disturb him for another ten years.

When Jack eventually died, God refused to let him into heaven for his actions, and the Devil kept his word not to take his soul, therefore not allowing him into the underworld and sending him off into the night with nothing but burning coal for light. Jack put the coal in a carved out turnip, and as legend has it, he has been roaming the earth ever since.

The Irish and Scottish began referring to this ghost as “Jack of the Lantern”, which turned into “Jack-O’-Lantern”, and began carving spooky faces into vegetables, bringing this tradition with them to the United States.

This story was adapted from History.com’s article: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history 

Malgorzata’s “Samantha” Jack O’ Lantern Polish Stoneware Halloween Angel

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Malgorzata of Warsaw, Poland uses her expressive hands to sculpt our charming Halloween angel figurine Samantha with her own Jack O’ Lantern and a friendly smile. The artist hand-paints each angel sculpture with rich glazes and fires at high temperatures for everlasting beauty.

Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern Nana Bell Chime

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If you want to impress your family with the most unique Halloween decor, this Jack-O’-Lantern nana bell chime will certainly do the trick. Each wind chime is handcrafted in the Indian port city of Surat from hand-cut and forged iron, and adorned with bright orange beads and a copper alloy nana bell.

Orange Halloween Fragrant Cinnamon Wax Vessel

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Each Halloween fragrant wax vessel is hand-poured and embedded with silk and natural essences to release a long lasting fragrance of spicy cinnamon, clove and nutmeg with a touch of creamy coconut. Each wax vessel features jack-o’-lantern pumpkins and candy corn accents, adding the perfect touch of Halloween charm.

Daniel Lyons’ Halloween Jewelry

From Daniel Lyons of London comes this festive jewelry collection. Sculpted metal surfaces are plated with gold and decorated with jewelers enamel and colorful Swarovski crystals.

Halloween Charm Bracelet

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Daniel Lyons’ Bat Brooch

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Jack-O’-Lantern Earrings by Daniel Lyons

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Hand-Blown Glass Pumpkin

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Each of these adorable glass pumpkin sculptures is hand-blown by Mark of New Orleans. Forty years’ experience has taught him to anticipate the glass’ response to slight changes of movement or additions of color. Using only a blowpipe and hand tools, he masterfully shapes layers of richly-colored glass, then uses a cold-fusion technique to create each swirled autumnal decoration.

Polish Pottery Small Green Stemmed Pumpkin

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Bring an exclusive piece of autumn to the home with our Polish pottery small pumpkin, handcrafted in Boleslawiec, Poland. Our artisans create this special autumnal collection by meticulously hand-painting vibrant autumnal symbols with sponges and fine brushwork, accented with an orange stem.

Find even more Halloween treasures on our Halloween shop!

Click to read more artisan moments on our blog

 

 

 

Product Spotlight: JoAnn’s Halloween Mugs

Nearly every day you will find JoAnn sitting at the potter’s wheel in her Pocono Mountain studio, her mind and hands spinning new designs to delight us. She shapes each vessel on her wheel before forming each smile-inducing embellishment. Each is high fired, dipped in specially formulated glazes and fired again to attain the deep, rich colors. JoAnn handcrafts fun and functional pottery for every holiday and occasion- snowmen, Santa, mermaids, frogs, witches, shamrocks, and everything in between. This year, celebrate Halloween with JoAnn’s festive mugs!

JoAnn’s Ghost Mug

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JoAnn’s Frankenstein Mug

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JoAnn’s Witch’s Legs Mug

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JoAnn’s Haunted House Mug

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Find more of JoAnn’s whimsical ceramic creations on her artisan page.

Click to read more of our artisan moments on our blog

Around the World with Kelsey’s Clay Owl Trinkets – Uno Alla Volta’s Distribution Center

These tiny porcelain owl trinkets were handcrafted in Asheville, North Carolina by our artisan Kelsey.

Kelsey handcrafts pieces that are both unique and distinctive, and the keen attention to detail she uses is clear from the precision of her whimsical treasures. Influenced by both nature and the joy her work pieces brings to those who adore them, her hope is to put a smile on her customers’ faces.

After creating the initial forms, Kelsey embellishes her treasures uno alla volta in an intricate process involving stamps and concentric circles, even filling in negative spaces to bring the creatures to life. Kelsey’s work perfectly exemplifies what we are all about here at Uno Alla Volta – that is, taking things one at a time.

These clay owl trinkets are the perfect size to keep in your purse when you need a little trinket to make you smile, or to arrange on a shelf to bring joy to all who spot them.

Our voyaging owls snuck into our distribution center to help package some of your treasures, aren’t they the sweetest?

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See where else the #UnoOwls have gone on the rest of our blog!

Feel Something Soulful

Dear Friends:

I invite you into the handcrafted world of Uno Alla Volta. My merchants and I travel the U.S. and the world in search of artisans with whom we collaborate to create for you these very special designs, and collections – a great many of which are not available anywhere else in the world.

Talk to our artisans and you will feel their primal urge to create. They will tell you of their belief that each work of their hands has been touched by their human spirit. And, they will tell of the joy that comes from knowing that each work will be cherished by its new caretaker.

We, too, feel something soulful as we handcraft these collections and bring them to life on these pages. If we touch you, please tell us. In doing so, you bring joy to our lives.

 
In gratitude,

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Terri S. Alpert

Founder & CEO

T.Alpert@unoallavolta.com

 

Artisan Spotlight: Avi’s Drusy Jewelry

For more than 30 years, Israeli jewelry designer Avi has been creating unique, eye-catching works of wearable art.

As an apprentice to jewelry makers in Israel and Denmark, Avi developed a decidedly international perspective on design – and life. Throughout his career, he has used and shared his talents to help others, mentoring new artisans as well as employing people with disabilities in his workshop. An avid supporter of human rights causes, he participates in empowerment programs for Arab women in Israel, and volunteers at a refugee center for African women in Tel Aviv, bringing the same passion to helping his community as he does to jewelry design.

Avi’s Silver and Gold Drusy Necklace and Earrings

Avi handcrafts this gorgeous sterling silver and gold drusy necklace and pair of earrings, uno alla volta. For each piece, he hand-sets an exquisite and shimmering teardrop-shaped piece of gold drusy in sterling silver. This fabulous jewelry is the perfect edition to any ensemble in need of a luxurious sparkle.

Avi’s Cobalt Drusy Sterling Silver Necklace and Earrings

This stunning necklace and set of earrings feature gleaming textured silver which surrounds each teardrop of blue drusy. The perfect balance of the complex color of the blue drusy stone and the simple yet intricate design of the silver makes this jewelry truly a one-of-a-kind.

Avi’s Aqua Drusy Earrings and Ring

These textured aqua drusy earrings and ring strike the perfect balance between classically elegant and beautifully bold. The bright, universally flattering color will pop against any skin tone.

Avi’s Blue Drusy And Sterling Silver Earrings and Necklace

These stunning pieces feature shimmering midnight blue drusy, hand-set in gleaming sterling silver.

Avi’s Black Drusy And Sterling Silver Earrings and Ring

To create these luxurious pieces, he hand-sets each round piece of black drusy into textured sterling silver to bring a unique and timeless look to any ensemble.

Click to read more artisan moments on our blog