Traditional copper and brass working in Italy

Cesare and Iolanda Mazzetti, Bottega del Rame

Bottega del Rame, Montepulciano (Credit: Rinomata Rameria Mazzetti)

While searching for interesting sites that talk about copper history, I came across the intriguing website of the Bottega del Rame in the Montepulciano region in central Italy. The workshop is owned and run by Cesare and Iolanda Mazzetti who inherited the business from their ancestors and now continue a long family tradition in copper crafting. I was particularly drawn to reading about the Bottega because copper as art and craft is not particularly fashionable, nor well known outside ornamental rusticalia and perhaps the niche modern jewellery markets, many examples of which you can see in the Beautiful Copper Group on Flickr. Since the nineteenth century, the Bottega has produced copper objects by recycling old ones. Cesare’s grandfather was crafting copper while his grandmother went to the markets to sell it in Chianciano, Pienza, Petraio, and Torrita. They go on to say:

In 1903 my father was a young boy and my grandmother sent him to learn the “fine” work from a master coppersmith named “Ghiotto”. He learned with passion to craft jugs, pots, pans, tableware, artistic plates. My grandmother paid 10 soldos a week to the master coppersmith to teach him the “fine” work.

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