Field Trip to Frederico Melani Workshop

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Article written by Tori Tschopp, BPS Interior  student of Marist/Ldm college

In Spring the class of Principles of Product and Interior Design visited the
Federico Melani workshop. I really enjoyed this field trip as I found it
to be a unique look into the Italian Design culture. It is rare in the
United States to find an artisan who works in the way that Frederico
Melani does. He uses recycled, often found materials to craft furniture
for the home. The pieces were absolutely beautiful. It was obvious that
each piece was created with a great deal of care and attention. The
combination of this personal attention with the use of recycled often
organic materials created a sense of warmth in the studio. Each piece
could be used as a focal point in a home. The overall style reminded me a
little of Colorado. Denver, Colorado is a city in the United States is
known for being very earth conscious where warm tones and organic
materials are always in style. I enjoyed seeing the work area as well. It
was simple, the tools could be found in any woodworking shop, but the
most interesting element was the collection of recycled materials that may one
day be used to create a lamp, or chair, or some other carefully crafted
piece of art. However, while the furniture was nothing short of genius,
what struck me most was the artists dedication to maintaining the quality
of his work. He expressed to us that he is very satisfied with his level
of income and the amount of work he has coming in. It was clear that if
he wanted to he could increase his workload and expand the business, but
only at the risk of compromising his high level of personal craftmanship. This
was a risk he is not willing to take. I admire this attitude toward money
and the pride he takes in his work. This is a attitude almost impossible
to find in the U.S. and is one of the things I love most about Italian
culture.

 I believe I can speak for the class in saying that the trip was
a success. I know I certainly gained a new level of appreciation of Italian
artisans.