Originality is a delicate balance of old and new, demanding innovative ways of applying centuries-old techniques to create something fresh and unique. An object is original if it is distinct from what has come before it, if it uses materials or methods in different ways, if it expresses the creativity of the artisan or of a designer, or if it is an individual interpretation of a tradition tied to a specific place.

T. Bertelsen © Michelangelo Foundation 2017

What I’ve done is put more detail and sophistication into these original patterns, creating designs that are finer and more difficult to execute. But the original and its evolution are always linked: every time I embroider flowers the drawing evolves, but I always go back to the original elements; it’s impossible to run away.

Dinis Pereira
Wool Felt Embroiderer

Dinis Pereira runs a studio in her hometown of Nisa, Portugal, famous for its wool embroidery. Entirely self-taught, she took up the local craft at the age of 20 and now represents it at events across Portugal and Spain. She has produced embroideries for the art installations of acclaimed artist Joana Vasconcelos. This collaboration has enabled her to create original new designs while remaining true to the traditions of her home and people.

S. Pozzoli © Michelangelo Foundation 2016
S. Pozzoli © Michelangelo Foundation 2016

The most interesting artefact is the one that manages to interpret the spirit of the original design. And by ‘original design’ we don’t mean just the idea of a single individual, but also the ideas that stem from within a community in any given place.

Gabriella Sacchi

One of Italy’s foremost contemporary ceramicists, om 1981 Sacchi founded her workshop, Laboratorio Nibe, creating objects in majolica, stoneware, raku and terra sigillata. Her pieces have been shown at prestigious exhibitions worldwide. She teaches, organises exhibitions and hosts events in her own gallery, Spazio Nibe.

© italia-sumisura.it – Dario Garofalo