MILAN–If Leonardo da Vinci was still alive and living in his old nabe 5Vie, he would have consulted Fabio Crippa and his Nuova Taglieria Artigiana on masterpieces dealing with precious stones. Crippa has made a name for himself as one of the only stone cutters in Europe that practices ancient hand etching techniques like heraldry, or the art of inscribing badges, emblems and family crests.
When we arrive, Crippa is washing a piece of jade found in a river bed at the foot of the Italian Alps. “This is a new discovery and this is very rare,” Crippa said, emphasizing that his vocation is also his hobby.
Piles of rough quarts, sapphires, amber and citrine imported from exotic places like Madagascar and Russia, Asia and the Dominican Republic. The sound of rotating surface grinders permeates through the busy room filled with apprentices and jeweler and even watch maker friends of Fabio and his wife, who pass by to work on their gems and seek their expert advice.
Not much has changed in the 4000 years since stone cutting has been employed by the Ancient Minoan, Greek and Romans, who Fabio said also used metal apparatuses to shape their jewels.
“We can do a lot of stuff with machinery, and even though human intelligence operates the machine, naturally people want hand made,” Fabio said, as he held up his latest project: a jade figurine that resembled something excavated from Imperial China.
WHERE: Via Carlo Ottavio Cornaggia 12 Milano, 02 8909 6082, http://www.nuovataglieria.it/
AVERAGE PRICE: By appointment. Not for individual sale
IN THIS ISSUE: 5 Vie: Da Vinci’s Neighborhood Today, Laboratorio Paravicini’s Fashion Plates, Angela Florio of DecorAzione, Italy’s Largest Collection of Da Vinci’s Works , 5Vie: The Art of Restoration Endures, BACO STYLE: Lidia Pellecchia’s Sartorial Style, BACO STYLE: Uberta Zambeletti of Wait and See, Al Pascia': Pipes to Leather Goods , Fabio Crippa: The Ancient Art of Stone Cutting, Lorenzo Borghi: Old School Milliner