Seeking out local arts and crafts in Livorno
Away from Livorno’s main shopping centre, in places that you would probably never find by accident, there are a number of small shops and workshops creating a surprising variety of highly original handmade objects.
Here are just two of them as a taster:
Hand-crafted Murano glass jewellery
Caterina Zucchi can be found in her workshop and showroom in Via Borra - Studio Zero Vetro, not far from the centre of Livorno in the historic Venezia district. She works alone, skillfully crafting colourful glass into beautiful jewellery to her own designs. You can often see her at work as you browse around her small shop.
Caterina started out in 1999 when she attended a course in stained-glass windows and Tiffany technique at the Atelier delle Arti in Livorno. From there she went on to follow a course in glass-making at the Vetroricerca Glas&Modern school in Bolzano, where she obtained her certificate in Glass Making Techniques. Caterina has also studied other craft skills such as raku, pitfire and bucchero, and she worked in Murano, Venice for a year, perfecting the art of making glass beads by torch, a technique she uses most often in her own work now.
Caterina has had her own shop and workshop in Livorno since 2005, and she has taken part in craft fairs all over Italy. She has won several awards including one at the Macef - Bijoux fair in Milan in the Best of Ornaments competition.
You can contact Caterina at email@example.com or visit her website
Gorgeous handpainted patterns for Cristina’s ceramics.
Cristina Piombanti developed her passion for all things creative at an early age, but because her mum was reluctant to let her go to a specialist art school in faraway Florence, Cristina was not able to follow any formal artistic training until after leaving school. This was when she went to Montelupo Fiorentino, a town that has centred around ceramics for centuries, to do a course in ceramics.
Since then she has developed her talents into a small business which she runs from her shop-come-workshop in Livorno, her home town. She is also often present at local arts and crafts fairs, such as the ones held in the Fortezza Vecchia at various times of the year.
Each piece of work is personally crafted, fired and decorated by Cristina, and her original designs reflect her mood of the moment. She says that her best designs are created when she is angry!
Cristina's style is fresh and highly original and she makes a wide variety of objects, from lamps to mirror frames, dinner services and tableware, children’s money boxes and good luck charms, as well as adding her own hand-painted decorations to furniture and clothing.
To contact Cristina Piombanti, see her website, or visit her shop in Via San Gaetano 33, Livorno.