A HISTORY OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND PATIENCE WHERE INNOVATION IS LINKED TO THE PAST
2017/10/22 3D projects / artenova / artisans / clay / craftsmanship / Department of Chemistry of the University of Florence / fermentation / Florence / impruneta / innovation / Italy / made-in-Italy / manual skills / past / slow non- mechanised procedures. This is the story of our craftsmanship. / terracotta bottles / tradition / tradition of terracotta / wine / wine and terracotta / wine artisans
The secret for the revival of the Italian economy lies in its craftsmanship according to a report by the illustrious newspaper The Guardian, backed up by numbers and many true stories about Italian artisans. The Guardian recounts the business success story of Federico Badia, a shoemaker from Orvieto in Umbria that saw a young student newly graduated as a surveyor, taking an apprenticeship in Rome to learn the shoemaker’s trade. A few years later, he opened up his own shoe-making business and took himself out of the economic crisis.
Can traditional Italian craftsmanship be the defence from the standardisation of products caused by global industrial giants? Can “Made in Italy” represent a response to the job crisis? This is the subject of an article published a few weeks ago in the supplement “Nova” of “Il Sole24ore” about innovation.
“Impruneta’s identity is preserved in the hands of its artisans” says Felicita Pistilli, a journalist of RAI Uno (Italian National TV) who visited our workshop in December 2015, and who defined our products “examples of excellence in made-in-Italy “.
ARTENOVA ON TG1 (EDITION OF 31 DECEMBER 2015, 20.00 hrs) “THE RE-FLOURISHING INDUSTRY OF THE TERRACOTTA OF IMPRUNETA”
The philosophy of Artenova combines traditional craftsmanship and innovation. Our company is one of the very few in Tuscany to keep old traditions of handmade terracotta alive while at the same time focusing strongly on innovation: for nearly 10 years now, our craftsmanship has been channelled into making innovative products with the creation of terracotta wine-jars. They come in various shapes and sizes, always handmade with the prestigious clay of Impruneta and behind every shape there is always an accurate research.
However for us innovation does not necessarily mean only change. Our company gives great importance to the bond we have with the past, our manual skills, and even the slow non- mechanised procedures. This is the story of our craftsmanship.
Over the years, our company has also embraced an innovation of procedures, not only of products. This has included taking an interest in the latest 3D projects. For this we acquired a Delta Wasp 2040 printer with an extruder for clay in order to make small sized objects such as wine goblets and terracotta bottles. The printer creates an object by emitting a jet of clay through a hollow needle. The object is gradually built up layer by layer to specific measurements using data from a computer file, however even in this case the expertise of a craftsman is necessary to oversee the procedure and to add the finishing touches of glazing and firing.
Our innovation continues regarding the many transformative aspects between wine and terracotta. Artenova in fact, has signed (and commissioned) a two-year research programme with the Department of Chemistry of the University of Florence. This is the first investigation of its kind, made with the collaboration of a terracotta workshop and a University research team, to scientifically define how the characteristics of terracotta affect the quality of amphora wine. Precisely because the craftsmanship of the jars is a difficult process to standardize, it is important to try to understand how the permeability, porosity and composition of a wine-jar can affect the quality of the wine inside it. Furthermore, very little is known so far about the chemical exchange between wine and terracotta during fermentation. This aspect is also part of the research.