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Carlo Semenzato

Carlo Semenzato Metalworker
Contact
Italian, English, French
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+39 041720234
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The last foundry owner in Venice

  • • Carlo upholds Venetian culture and decorative history
  • • He began with no artistic training
  • • He uses traditional sand casting techniques

When he began working at the Valese foundry, Carlo Semenzato wasn’t yet 18 years old. He had a technician background and no idea of what artistic craft was. Over the years, he learnt what shaping bronze and brass meant, and eventually took over the foundry, the very last one in Venice. "Saving it meant saving a Venetian peculiarity," he says. Founded in 1913 by the Valese family, the foundry shapes complex objects such ornaments for gondolas, chandeliers, door knockers, handles and statues, using the sand casting method. "When the object is removed from the mould, it has to be finished and polished by hand," he says. "I love that part. It takes a long time, but seeing it emerge from my hands is so exciting."

Read the full interview

Works

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Leone Regina Elisabetta

The Leone Regina Elisabetta was based on a sculpture made for the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Venice in 1966. The winged lion was made of green patinated bronze and is standing on a polished marble base.

Height 17 cm
Length 29 cm

Carlo Semenzato Metalworker
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Leone Canova

This green patinated bronze lion is an accurate scale reproduction of one of a pair of lions originally sculpted in stone by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) for the tomb of Pope Clement XIII in St. Peter’s Basilica. The lion lies on a polished marble base.

Height 9.5 cm
Length 23 cm

Carlo Semenzato Metalworker
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Door knockers

These two green lion head door knockers were based on a gold one produced in 1800. Both versions were made from cast brass but one was polished while the other was burnished.

Carlo Semenzato Metalworker
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Cerusico mask

These two green masks of Cerusico, the plague doctor from the Commedia dell’Arte tradition, were handcrafted using the 'bracket' technique. They were created from a model produced in 1983. Both versions were made from cast brass, polished and gold coated.

Carlo Semenzato Metalworker
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Cavallo Bianchi

This brass seahorse was created as a tribute to the master who made the original model in 1930. It was intended as a lateral ornament for gondolas and has been gilded accordingly.

Carlo Semenzato Metalworker

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