Why did your father decide to pick up this craft?
He was struck by the scagliola technique while visiting the Vallombrosa monastery of Regello, close to Florence. He was working as a clerk, but in his free time he liked to dedicate himself to art. He started studying and with the help of our mother he began to create his first scagliola works.
When did the passion take over?
In 1965 he left his job and opened a workshop in central Florence. The following year, the city was hit by the great flood and he lost everything. Instead of giving up, he rolled up his sleeves and reopened his workshop elsewhere, continuing to collect antique pieces, which we now exhibit in our museum.
© Alessandro Bianchi
What’s it like to work together?
Alessandro: it can be difficult, but also very stimulating. We disagree on everything, we argue for hours trying to align Elisabetta’s artistic demands (she is involved in the creative side of the business) with the limits of the technique. Unfortunately, not every idea can be transformed into an object.
How did your collaboration with Gianni Versace develop?
Versace asked us to create a number of scagliola items to furnish all his houses, from Villa Fontanelle on Lake Como to Casa Casuarina in Miami. Among the many pieces we produced, one of the most remarkable is a big table with an enormous Medusa’s head.