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Artigianato e Palazzo' in Florence

The 13th edition of ‘Artigianato e Palazzo’ will be held on the 18, 19 and 20 May in Florence. During the long weekend, master craftsmen will reveal the secrets of their trades to the public, recreating a corner of their workshops in the historic Corsini Garden. Each year the magnificent Garden of Palazzo Corsini on Via il Prato hosts the work of a hundred artist-craftsmen. The exhibitors demonstrate to the public how a craftsman works, how the product is created by hand from materials in a multitude of forms’.

The new projects and exceptional events of this edition are consistent with the mission of preserving the world of craftsmanship: an International Conference ‘Artistic Crafts: a Heritage for the Future’ will be held on Saturday 19 May at 10.00, putting Florence at the centre of the European debate on the future of artistic crafts.
Many exhibitors from throughout Europe are returning this year.
Furthermore the 2nd “Il Giovane Genio Fiorentino” competition will be held, an event initiated by the partnership between ‘Artigianato e Palazzo’ and the Provincial Government of Florence and the APT Tourist Promotion Agency to give incentive to the professionalism and creativity of students at Art Institutes in Florence and its province in working with local materials: a different way of relaunching the training of expert craftsmen among the younger generations and of promoting craftsmanship.
Last year the material of choice was Montelupo ceramics, while this year it is Impruneta terracotta. This year’s theme is the design and creation of an ‘alzata’, a decorative element used on the gates and surrounding walls of Florentine villas. All the entries will be on show in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi for fifteen days so that the public can cast its vote. The best entries will be on display for the three days of ‘Artigianato e Palazzo’ and on the morning of Friday 18 May at 12.00 the winning entry will be awarded a prize.

On Friday 18 May at 18.00 Pilar Lebole and Benedetta Zini’s book, Firenze, Guida dei Mestieri d’Arte, (Florence, Guide to Artistic Crafts), published by the Firenze per l’Artigianato Artistico Foundation will be presented.
As in preceding years, approximately 40% of the exhibitors will be appearing for the first time, to ensure that new skills are on show to the visiting public at each edition.
Among the new exhibitors are the craftsmen of the Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli, from Agnone in the heart of Molise, the city of bells where for the last one thousand years the art of fusing religious bronzes has endured and where the bells for the most prestigious churches in the world are made.
Other exceptional exhibitors are the Master stone cutters of the Fabbrica dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, a craft that has been practiced in the town for hundreds of years and is almost unknown by Florentines themselves. Under the direction of the technical office of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, these craftsmen hand down from generation to generation the skills of working and restoring the stone material of the Cathedral and Giotto’s Bell Tower.

New exhibitors include:
STEFANO CROCINI who makes miniature furniture; MAURO SARTI who expertly crafts different woods to make spinning tops as light as dragonflies; from New York with his ceramics, ROBERT BRISLEY, famous as a fabric designer for the most important American makes; from Switzerland, the milliner CAROLINE FELBER whose extrovert hats unite craftsmanship, design and functionality, and who interprets the mood and personality of those who choose to wear them; from Budapest MONIKA BOTTA brings the great felt tradition applied to clothing and furnishing; FRANCO INNOCENTI who after ‘closing his workshop’ in Florence to spend many years abroad decorating great houses, has returned to Italy full of ideas; CRISTINA ANTONIA DE CHAGAS BORGES a young Brazilian craftsman who makes scented candles of all sizes by hand, mixing wax with diverse materials such as lace, spices and other natural ingredients.
During the 3 days of the show, the AIRC Tuscan Committee will hold a special sale to raise funds for Cancer Research. Craft pieces of different sizes and materials made by the craftsmen with great enthusiasm and generosity for this charity will be on sale.
Throughout the grounds of the fair there are places to rest and relax and for those in need of refreshment there are the newly refurbished café and restaurant serving hand-made Tuscan specialities throughout the day.

As is the tradition of the show, there are FREE GUIDED TOURS of the Corsini Garden taken by young art historians from the Città Nascosta Association. The Garden is considered to be one of the most interesting examples of an Italian garden in Tuscany, designed in the Seventeenth century by Gherardo Silvani. To book a guided tour of the garden: Città Nascosta Association + 39 055 6802590. At the close of the show on Sunday 20 May at 19.00 the Perseo-Banca CR Firenze Prize will be awarded to the exhibitor most appreciated by the public.

Palazzo Corsini sul Prato Garden
Via della Scala, 115, Florence
Friday 18, saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May 2007
Opening hours 10-20.30
Entrance fee Euro 7.50, Euro 5.00 reductions

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