Mission, passion, vocation, profession.
Four words that may seem to have the same meaning, but which instead have different shades of meaning.
The one that best suits Mari Anna Bonaffini is “Mission”, because it combines the pleasure of doing something (in this case embroidery) and social benefit (that of conveying this ancient art, which experiences a renewed interest also in the fashion system ).
The one with needle, thread and crochet is a true love affair that consists of sacrifices in creating small works of art and in the desire to be able to pass on this profession to the new generations.
An obligation that she performs with all her means, holding advanced courses where she explains to the students how to make the artistic crochet on the loom, an art that she herself devised in 2015 in collaboration with the Dolce & Gabbana Silists, but also starting “from the base”, from the education of children.
The idea of creating an embroidery class arose almost by chance. In fact, Maria Anna, who is a self-taught embroiderer, decided to pass on her art to her daughter Elisa. This sparked the curiosity of the girl’s friends, who asked to be able to learn as well. The passion, joy and interest shown by the girls made Maria Anna understand that her art is not “old and now obsolete”, but must be dusted off and passed on to new generations.
With “Ricamiamo Giocando”, a project carried out since 2020 by MANIDORO SRL in Rimini and coordinated by President Irene Razzani, Maria Anna Bonaffini, embroiderer from Nissen registered in REIS, creates register of intangible properties in the Sicily region, free sewing and embroidery courses for children and from this collaboration was also born a book that serves as a manual for the first steps in learning the crochet technique, and which to involve the reader also tells a fairy tale that takes place in “Uncilandia”. And she does it through any form: behind the screen of a smartphone, with online courses held for girls from all over Italy and in attendance, with the little students from Caltanissetta, the city where she has chosen to live.
And the results obtained are always the same: excellent.
Each idea is transformed through his skilled and professional guide into a masterpiece ready to be sent to the other side of the globe to be appreciated by visitors and quality juries and to take coveted awards home. And there was no shortage – unfortunately too sporadically – of school projects and exhibitions promoted by the city of Caltanissetta.
Her request is minimal for the city: a space where she can sit next to her children and help them learn this ancient art. Everything else is not only free for the students’ parents, but even repaid with a lot of love and loving care for perfection.
Embroidery and crochet create character because it stimulates fine motor skills, encourages determination to achieve a result, increases the capacity for attention, concentration and pushes towards perfection.
Over time, almost 400 girls have signed up for Maria Anna Bonaffini’s course, all between the ages of 6 and 12.
Among these – at the moment – are Silvia Amico, Gaia Buscemi, Alessia Cammarata, Mirea Cammarata, Federica Cirasa, Alice Cortese, Andrea D’Arma, Giada D’Arma, Barbara Di Francesco, Giulia Di Pietra, Federica Fonti, Sara Fonti, Beatrice Guagenti, Benedetta Guagenti, Alessia Iannello, Agnese Lanza, Elisabetta Lascari, Melissa Lo Vetere, Sofia Maria Nuccio, Adriana Palazzo, Giulia Panepinto, Elisabetta Pasqualetti, Giuliana Polizzi, Sophia Carmela Porcello, Giulia Puglisi, Alice Puglisi, Alice Praslisi. But the full list is really long.
Many competitions, where over time the many students who have been guided by Maria Anna Bonaffini’s loving care have participated. And Caltanissetta’s creativity has traveled the world and reached several continents: Algiers, Marseille, Paris, Nantes, Luxembourg and even abroad in California and Australia.
In recent months, students have taken part in Nantes’ creativity fair organized by the association “Pour l’Amour du Fil” with the artifact from the Australian seabed entitled “The sea of opportunities” and another artifact – of which still for confidentiality reasons the embroiderer does not want to provide further information – she will be judged in another international competition.
However, the students in the embroidery class not only learn to “honor” participating or winning competitions (a feature that, however, rewards and encourages them), but they learn to make their own craft. Currently, students are making many small “tiles” to make a bag completely hand-embroidered, and at the end of this work they will be able to switch from accessories to clothing.
Small examples of how a passion or an art can become a means to satisfy a need, a personal pleasure or even the foundation of a future professional opportunity.