The wrought iron is part of the most spectacular aesthetical mediterranean tradition, and I think about the baroque balconies of Martina Franca and Lecce, about those rounded of Tunis, about the gate's volutes of Palma di Montechiaro...It almost seems that the wrought iron manufactures with their arabesques, light like spider's webs, contradict the heay nature of the original material. Rethinking today of the wrought iron, means considering two key-concepts of our contemporaneity: lightness and materiality. And at the same time thinking about two necessities: reapproach to archetypical materials, which are related to a secular tradition, in order to recover the roots that connect us to a history, built by human hands, and to find the lightness again. A physical, but not immaterial, lightness. Not an escape, but a fair presence. The task of the planners, who have to interpret this material, has essentially been combining materiality and lightness, trying to imagine new volutes, where the iron could soften its gravity. It is a difficult task, because the material proposes itself with the weight of a connotated and almost ineluctable stilistic past. And something handmade is often a restraint for facing new ways, because it suggests traditional shapes. And yet the variegated collection is able to inaugurate a new genre, putting itself in the outline of handcrafted design operations, not with a manner feature, but with a new authentical one, like many others, that are not anything else than variations on a theme . It does not appear eclectic, even if the personality of the single projects emerges acutly, thanks to the guideline, represented by the material and the executive technique. It can be considered as a coloured flowerbed and certainly not as a brushwood garden, where every grass grows freely. Many of the pieces recall the animal and vegetal universe: birds, sunflowers, butterfly's wings...analogies, that allude immediately to lightness, other pieces instead reinterpret friezes and grotesques, creating a sort of new decorative alphabet. As a whole the distinguishing feature is the poetic vein, sometimes slightly naif, that transforms a headbord in a bird's flight, an umbrellastand in a sort of sunflower, a hatstand in a tuft of trembling reeds...Shortly it seems like most of the projectists, except for those, who want to readfirm the heaviness of the material, using more consistent thicknesses, have worked the iron as it was like a candy floss ribbon, giving him again an imagine of flexibility and lightness.
Is it possible to reach formal synthesis between creative craftsmen and famous designers, that deal with an antique technology: the wrought iron? This has been our bet. Ferr Art is a tuscan firm, that workes iron since five generations. It has created furniture and objects, which take us back to antique, medieval atmospheres, combined with new inspirations, originated from the creative sense of the craftsman, who interprets the object at the same moment when he is creating it. The considered planners, chosen among those of the main research areas, come from different cultures and planning ideas. This fact derives from the idea to create a dissimilar and complex outline, rich of various languages. The only guideline is to be the worked iron. It is a material of our tradition, entraped in this role and never called to express our contemporaneity. Therefore we did not asked our projectists for a rereading, seen as redesign of past systems, but a research on the intrinsec potentiality of this material, following only the dreams of the moment, in order to set up objects for domestic use, produced in limited editions. The main features of this collection have in this way become the poeticalness, the value, that every one has expressed in his object, enabling it to touch the sphere of emotionality. This aspect is rarely achievable in the outline of industrial production, as the more complex process, that leads to the finished object, often empties the first idea of its emotional charge.
Santina Bonini
Cinzia Galimberti
Ernesto Spicciolato
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