Exquisite Italian skills come to Shanghai

Italy is renowned for its design flair, superb works of art and craftmanship, and an event in the city will let visitors experience a mix of its time-honored crafts and fashion.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Italian artists Duccio Raffaelli and his wife Giulia on Thursday showcase their etching skills at an Italian craft exhibition at the Shanghai Great World. 

The Sino-Italy Craft Week opened at the Shanghai Great World yesterday, featuring exquisite jewelry, leather, wooden furniture, bags and crystal.

A highlight of the event is the 86-year-old Italian craft exhibition, involving craftsmen from 30 handicraft firms and workshops across the southern European country. Visitors can watch them display their skills, and they will also give lectures and courses during the event.

Italy is renowned for its design flair, superb works of art and craftmanship.

A special aromatherapy will be on display comprising the same formula once used by Caterina Maria Romola De Medici, an Italian-born French queen.

A workshop specializing in restoring and making artistic mosaics production from the late 19th century will display its wares, and artists from Tuscany will show how to make handmade mosaic paintings, portraits and artworks.

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Beatrice Ceroni, a ceramicist, displays her artwork. 

Dong Jun / SHINE

Visitors are able to learn Italian etching culture and how to produce printing works and 3D portraits.

Duccio Raffaelli, an Italian craftsman who displays his etching skills, involving engraving on copper plates, and drawing and printing on precious paper, said that today everything is fast, digitalized and mechanical — “but this craft is a very old tradition with 500 years of history in Italy.”

It is always “good to show people that there is still something slow,” he added.

An Italian mask carnival will be held on Sunday. The origins of the Venetian mask culture date back to the 12th century. With the rejuvenation of the Carnival of Venice, carnival masks are a highlight of Italian handicraft culture.

In addition, Yang Zhijian, a guqin artist and maker, and Wang Jianzhong, a paper cut master, who are representatives of China’s intangible cultural heritage, will conduct a dialogue with Italian craftsmen, promoting the communication and exchange of Chinese and Western handicraft art and culture.

The event will run to Tuesday. It is part of the Shanghai Great World intangible cultural heritage fashion activities series.

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Giorgio Linea, a fashion leather designer, works on his artwork.

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