Training goes beyond the knowledge of a particular trade to the very human art of teaching, inspiring and building future artisans. Mastery implies the ability to recognize potential in aspiring artisans and to plant and nurture this knowledge. Among other things, it requires: knowledge of a trade, its history and context; knowledge of all the traditional tools and brand new technologies associated with it; maturity for collaboration and teamwork; access to a workshop for practical application; and continuous learning and updating of knowledge bases.

S. Pozzoli ©Michelangelo Foundation 2016

My masters taught me not only how to work with leather but also how to run a business, how to have patience, and values to live by. An artisan never stops learning: you can have a diploma and a seal, but you continue to learn throughout your life. I know I do, every day, even from those who learn from me.

José Luis Bazán
Leather Craftsman

A fourth-generation leatherworker, José Luis Bazán brings a modern eye to a craft practiced in his hometown of Ubrique, Spain, since the 18th century. By the age of 21, he was creating bags and suitcases, eventually establishing his own workshop where he served clients such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel. In addition to partnerships with luxury brands such as Loewe, Bazán devotes time to developing his own techniques for moulding and engraving, creating textures and shapes using all kinds of elements and mixing leather with other materials.

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

I have always supported the principle that training is fundamental and essential for the continuation of this art. It takes schooling, internship, tradition; there are no short cuts. Without sufficient preparation you also jeopardize the legacy of the ancient instruments we have, because if masterpieces end up in non-expert hands, they will be destroyed instead of being preserved.

Gio Batta Morassi
Violin maker

Founder of the Italian Luthier Association, Gio Batta Morassi is one of the foremost exponents of the Cremonese tradition. Graduating with a scholarship from the famous violin-making school, he practised under Hungarian maestro Peter Taràr, taking over the workshop when his master emigrated to the United States.

© – Dario Garofalo