After a few years at university, where he studied chemistry applied to conservation, Alvise Boccanegra understood that he had different dreams. So he made contact with a restoration workshop inside the Curia of San Marco, where he met his master, Maximilian Leuthenmayr, and remained for the next seven years. He credits his master for having "a deep desire to convey his knowledge, while normally craftsmen don't reveal their secrets". A few years later, Alvise set up on his own. "It was hard at the beginning, when I opened my workshop," he says. "It’s not that easy to convince customers to trust you. Now I can’t complain, there’s so much work."Read the full interview
I think it's to do with my passion for nature, plants, trees, flowers… My house is full of plants, too. Wood is a living matter, it adapts to become anything.How would you define what you do?
It’s not just about giving a second life to an object; there are objects that could last even without my intervention. My role is bringing to light what has remained under various layers, since furniture is often repainted several times. I return an object back to what it once was, the original idea.
That it isn’t really a job, it’s a way of life, a way of seeing things, of entering deeply into everything you do. Being careful, trying to understand things deep down and going beyond the surface is part of what I am, not only with objects, but also with people.What advice would you give to a young person starting out?
You should have a lot of humility, which is something rare and not of its time. Also economic humility. Today everyone is looking for a job that has an immediate economic return, but for the first three years of my apprenticeship, I did two jobs to support myself.