On April 21, 2022, international artisans share their take on the neighbourhood's age-old practices and modern-day flair. 'Creative People in Florence' founders Sara Amrhein and Anna Rose will lead this 3-pronged virtual studio visit.
Thursday, 21 April - 6pm
Event e-streamed curated by 'Creative People in Florence'
Tucked inside a medieval tower-building, just off the Ponte Vecchio, we'll find Joy Franklin's jewellery studio, 'A Thousand Joys'. The artisan's love of historic ornament and ancient cultures gives rise to contemporary pieces in gold, silver and precious stones. "I've have my studio in the Oltrarno for 5 years. I'm often inspired by historical ornament from many cultures, and the neighbourhood offers a lot of inspiration for my pieces. A doorbell, a gate, a bit of church. I try to work with antique detail and historical sentiment."
Joy Franklin of 'A Thousand Joys' at work in her Oltrarno studio
As the walkabout continues, Italian-Canadian artisan Erin Ciulla will discuss traditional bookbinding tools and techniques, and tell the story of how she became owner of the historic workshop, Il Torchio on via dei Bardi. "Throughout the centuries the workshops and bottegas in the streets of San Frediano, Santo Spirito, and San Niccolò have advanced minor arts and artistic handicrafts making the traditional Florentine craftsmanship unique and highly sought out," Ciulla explains, putting Il Torchio into context.
Kirstie Mathieson's creations at a Tuscan marketplace
From the Oltrarno, we'll move to the Tuscan countryside and the private studio of Scottish potter Kirstie Mathieson, specialised in wheel work and slabbing techniques. From the Oltrarno, we'll visit Mathieson's studio in the countryside near Pontassieve. 'I am lucky to have the opportunity to observe small changes of the landscape and the slowing down of time that life in the countryside allows,' the potter says.
"Workshop Walkabout" forms part of 'Oltrarno Gaze 2022' cultural programme, organised by The British Institute of Florence and Il Palmerino Cultural Association. The call is conceived and organised in collaboration with 'Creative People in Florence' cultural association. The aim of 'Oltrarno Gaze 2022' is to spotlight modern-day art and artisanship from the Florentine district, whilst exploring its connection to historic women artists of the past. It is made possible thanks to a grant by the Advancing Women Artists Legacy Fund, with special thanks to Alice Vogler, Donna Malin, Connie Clark, Pam Fortune, Nancy Hunt, Nancy Galliher and AWA Legacy Fund Director Margaret MacKinnon.
Project conception and coordination
Media and communication
Calliope Arts / Restoration Conversations
With the patronage of
Consulate of the United States of America in Florence
Participating partners 'Sotto al British' at the British Institute of Florence, Gruppo Fotografico Il Cupolone APS, 'Creative People in Florence', Freya's Florence, Amalia Ciardi Duprè Museum, Atelier degli Artigianelli and Spazio NOTA with Osservatorio Mestieri d'Arte