“A Scuola di Bottega” under the two towers

I liked the lutheria workshop because I like manual work and building a guitar was very exciting. What I liked most was putting the strings to make it play “

“An episode that I liked occurred on the first day of the workshop when we wrote our name on a plate … we did not write our name from left to right, but from right to left like Leonardo da Vinci”

“I attended the tailoring workshop and I enjoyed creating our own swimsuit and being able to choose the fabric that I was going to make it with. The craftsmen during the workshop gave us advice and helped us; that’s why it was always easy to do things “

“I liked modeling the cup, vase and spoon … I liked this experience because I had the opportunity to create something”

These are just some of the sentences from the girls and boys from Guinizelli – Carracci colleges in Bologna, who this year participated in the initiative “At Bottega School” with the artisans, arranged by the school and by Cna Bologna. This morning, students presented their artistic artifacts in front of Piazza Ravegnana ArtigianArte, the center of artistic craftsmanship with its shop windows at the foot of the Asinelli tower.

To know the techniques directly from the craftsmen, but above all the charm of making handmade products in unique pieces. To spread the knowledge of crafts in the schools and orient the students towards a subject that can give great satisfaction, at a time when craftsmen need a generational change and complain about the difficulty of finding staff. These are the goals of the “A Scuola di Bottega” project by the Cna Bologna and Guinizelli-Carracci Institute in via Ca ‘Selvatica, which started in November last year.

There are four Bolognese artisans “who have taken the chair” to tell the beauty of their profession with words and audiovisual material:

  • Leonardo Dingimetal restorer, has faithfully reproduced antique hardware since 1961. https://dingi.it/bottega-dingi-antichita-e-restauro/
  • Maddalena Papini, by the association “Vicini d’istanti”, specializing in the processing of ethnic drugs, but above all in the integration of strangers https://vicinidistanti.com/it/vicini-distanti/
  • Simona boys, ceramicist, eclectic artist who mainly works with sculpture, for which he combines graphic, pictorial, photographic and installation works. https://www.simonaragazzi.it/
  • Fabio Ferlini, luthier, designs and builds Custom Made in Italy guitars and basses http://www.fcustomguitars.it/

In the first phase of the project, all eight first classes of the department were involved, a total of 190 students. During two hours of interventions in each of the eight classes, the master craftsmen introduced the students to their craft.

Each class then followed an activity either at the International Museum and Library of Music (path on string instruments) or at the Davia Bargellini Museum (laboratory for graffiti ceramics). This moment was especially significant because in these places are collected so many objects, fruits of past centuries crafts. In this way, the craft product is not just a handmade object, but becomes a “masterpiece”.

At the end of this first preparation phase, which involved all students, those who were fascinated by the various subjects had the opportunity to sign up for an optional afternoon workshop from 6 p.m. 14.30 to 16.30.

The response was enthusiastic: As many as 54 boys and girls chose to continue the journey by participating in afternoon workshops with ceramics, luthery, artistic metalworking and tailoring, almost 30% of the students involved in the first phase.

The project involved the construction of 4 laboratories with about ten students, but due to the massive response, it was necessary to duplicate the ceramic, and the tailor-made had to be “reinforced”.

This morning, the students, together with the craftsmen, presented some fruits of this year’s works under The Two Towers. For ceramic and modeling the clay, each student made 2-3 artifacts, which were then stained. For tailor each student designed a garment, took measurements, made a model on paper, cut, basted and sewed with the sewing machine. For metalworking: embossed work (with the creation of a small plate bearing your name), metal polishing, creation of a mold, casting to realize a handle. To violin production two guitars were built.

What will be the future of “A Scuola di Bottega”? The will is to continue this experimental project over the next few years, and gradually involve all of the department’s classes in a three-year growth path. To assume an additional value that would go beyond the simple “learning to do” or “cultivate one’s own preconditions”, but which would guarantee the citizens of the future to be able to recognize and appreciate the value of craftsmanship.

“Craft – he said Claudio Pazzaglia, Director of Cna Bologna, this morning under the Asinelli tower – it’s a beautiful profession, but it must be explained and demonstrated in the schools, to get the students to come to the ‘shop’. Companies must be the main characters if they want school guidance to reward craftsmen and small businesses and students in the future for choosing crafts as a profession, either by establishing their own company or by working as partners ”.

“It is very important that our school, together with humanism, is able to propose technical culture and manual creativity – he added Daniele Ara, councilor at the school in Bologna municipality -. The school is thus able to offer interesting suggestions and perspectives for the students’ lives when they have finished their studies. “

“The workplaces aim to guide boys and girls in their future choices by highlighting their potential and possible career opportunities through growth paths that bring out individual creativity – he explains Tiziana Faiella, Director of IC8 Bologna – Guinizelli Lower Secondary School – Carracci – The responsibility for the guidance belongs to the school, and its task is to introduce a plurality of tools and appropriate actions to recognize the skills possessed, by creating synergies with other educational institutions and making the young people the main characters in decision-making moments in the implementation. of their individual life plan. Bringing students closer to knowing how to do art, to knowledge of techniques and phases of material processing means to teach them an approach and a working method that can be used in any other sector and aims to convey to them the passion for artistic craftsmanship, an activity capable of providing satisfaction to those who perform it “.

“It was an extremely important activity for all the students in the first grade – he concludes Andrea Santolini, entrepreneur of arts and crafts, head of Cna Bologna, owner of ArtigianArte under Asinelli Tower -. Bringing crafts into the school through informative and training meetings, putting young students in touch with the local artisan shops has meant getting people to discover, raise awareness and promote high Italian craftsmanship among tomorrow’s young women and men. The primary purpose of the project was to spread the craft culture with its values ​​from an early age, where the children approach ‘doing’ spontaneously and in an immediate and natural way ‘.


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