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Villa Fiorentino Sorrento sede della Fondazione Sorrento

Fondazione Sorrento

The techniques and the craftsmen involved in Sorrento inlay

- Among the figures involved in this field, there are also those of fretworkers, ricacciatori, cabinet-makers, carpenters and many more . The most ancient technique used in Sorrento Coast, instead, was that of mosaic. Inspired to a working of accuracy, the production of Sorrento master craftsmen involved in the field of wood inlay has always been inspired to rigorous techniques which have involved the use of different kinds of professions since the Nineteenth century, the time of its highest splendour. Fretworkers, for example, have to shape the rawlplugs of various sizes destined to compose the drawings made with the use of wood of various shades or colours. In the past they had to use tools called “caprette”. Thanks to their use, craftsmen, with one hand, oriented a series of cuts already ready to be bored, and with the other they decided their shifting to a thin blade able to follow the drawing they wanted to do. Besides the carpenters- who made the frame of the wood – the productive cycle involved the use of “ricacciatori” (that is to say of craftsmen specialized in improving the drawings made by using kinds of wood with the use of small cross-hatchings filled with black stucco and, later, with china ink) and of other craftsmen devoted to the care of pivots, fastenings and inside coverings (mostly in velvet). As to the phase of varnishing - originally made by using exclusively polishers and lac – since the postwar period also the so-called polishers dedicated themselves, who used spray paint. Before standardizing with other productions, Sorrento wood inlay was characterized by the use of the technique of the mosaic. At first, this technique was made by alternating square tesseras of various shades and was used to make drawings which were mostly geometrical to be used above all as a completing of parts differently inlaid. As years went by, Sorrento production – as well as others – has undergone different kinds of changes, influences and evolutions also as an effect of the use of techniques of engraving introduced in the area by Arturo Guidi. The need of assuring an ever-increasing number of samples available on the market of souvenirs (especially since the ‘60s of the 20th century), in some cases, has ended up to compromise the quality of the objects made in the area, thus partly distorting its original beauty. At present – also as an effect of mechanisms of economic selection – there is a strong turnaround. After leaving productions which seemed to go towards pseudo-industrial mechanisms, craftsmen from Sorrento, much fewer than in the past, are again concentrating on productions which are certainly less cheap but able to assure high quality standards.

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Firmato - 29/05/2018
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