We are in Altare in the province of Savona, about half an hour from the sea. Here, the glassmaking tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, brought to this land from northern France by Benedictine monks.
I’m about to meet Vanessa Cavallaro who inherited this precious art from her father and became its Master.
Her store speaks of her and her crystals shine like her eyes and her smile that I would call radiant.
She shows me some of her most precious objects and I am enchanted by how she has managed to embroider characters, flowers, sailing ships and much more in the glass with a stone wheel.
He explains the technique and lets me try but my hands aren’t practiced and more than scratches on the glass I can’t do!
He takes a glass in his hand and, as a demonstration of his technique, engraves my monogram with an impressive ease, it seems he is using a pencil instead of a stone wheel!
Incredible, after all, it’s no coincidence that he has the title of Master and numerous awards from the most prestigious institutes around the world.
As we have a coffee in a glass cup, logically elegantly engraved, I ask her a few questions:
Do you consider your work a resource for the country ?
Like all jobs related to creativity, I think I am a resource: I am part of the Made in Italy.
We modern artisans, who grew up in Italy, in a context rich in cultural stimuli, express our creativity enriched by external stimuli. These are indirect stimuli that help you develop your creativity along with your studies.
Talent must be stimulated and nurtured.
Many think that the craftsman is the guardian of the past, do you think this is a limitation or a great opportunity?
The craftsman is the custodian of the past, because he is in love with his passion that he has transformed into work, but he does not limit himself to copying, but reworks it, making his expressive technique current and modern. In my case the glass and crystal engraved on the stone wheel.
I know that during this period of closure you have done a lot of research and study. Can you tell me something that you believe has enriched you professionally?
During this period I have been looking for information about glass, about the new industrial types that are appearing on our markets, and I am increasingly appreciating Italian and European high quality crystal. I have been looking for new networks and some of them have found me, and it is very stimulating to talk to those who know the sector, to share opinions and suggestions.
How do you think technology can help you?
Technology helps me in the process of developing an idea, but I believe that the machine can never replace the hand of the artist who makes an artifact.
In engraving there is the laser, but the final result is far from what I can achieve.
Do you think new digital tools are essential to continue your work?
Digitization is an unstoppable process of the world and of everyone’s life, I’m attracted to it and I’m excited to understand the tools we have at our disposal.
I want to understand them so I can use them to the fullest, they can be a great help to be visible to the target audience and to learn, research and communicate.
I believe that the working life of a craftsman is fulfilling and to be valued. If you had to encapsulate the beauty of your work in a few words, what would you say?
I feel fulfilled when I create something that I have in my mind, with technical satisfaction, but I am just as fulfilled in my daily work, as a businesswoman the satisfaction is to perceive the satisfaction of the customer.
For me it represents a way of life.
Very good Vanessa.
For your personalized crystal object you just have to visit her store.