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Handicraft

 

CORAL WORK

The so-called “red gold”, not a vegetable, even if branched, not a mineral though petrified, but a calcareous secretion produced by colonies of microorganisms, claims its origin from the blood gushing from the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa. The red coral of the Mediterranean already seduced people thousands of years ago, as witnessed by several archaeological finds. The first to take up fishing and the systematic processing of coral in Italy were the inhabitants of Trapani, who soon became very skilled “sculptors” specialized in setting small corals into sacred objects and those for household use. But first place for working with and marketing coral belongs to the town of Torre del Greco, where in various workshops they carry out the so-called “smooth” work, which includes balls, barrels, cylinders, almonds and cabochons, while cameo engraving is done at home by skilled craftsmen who transmit their engraving technique from father to son.

 

LAVA STONE WORK

The Vesuvian lava originating from the ancient eruptions of Vesuvius is a material stronger than marble and is very famous and in demand throughout the world. The historical “stonecutters”, known at the time of the Romans as lapicidae, carved olive presses and millstones intended for farm work. In the 17th and 18th century, as shown by the magnificent Vesuvian Villas of the Golden Mile, they made statues, columns, fountains, Porali and marvellous stairways for the villas of the Bourbon kings and nobles of their court. Each mason established a deep relationship with the lava stones to be worked, naming them according to their sizes, and in the same way they created nicknames for each chisel used for shaping them, passing on their craft techniques from father to son.
Current and modern production, especially that of road paving, has not threatened the survival of traditional stone craftsmanship. In interior furnishing, the design, construction and installation of floors, cladding, kitchen countertops, sinks and fireplaces is continually growing.

 

NATIVITY ART

Already known for the craft of coral and cameos, Torre del Greco also expresses its artistic nature in nativity art. They reveal the influence of 18th century Neapolitan cribs, but are distinguished by the originality of their scenes, the careful arrangement of the figures and the refinement of their lights and colours. If we add to this the great love that the local crib artists have for the mystery of the birth of the child Jesus, the entire work becomes an elegant artistic model, full of Christian warmth. Some of the works created have been exhibited in the Vatican.

 

RESTORATION OF ANTIQUE FURNITURE

The ancient craft techniques and modern knowledge regarding the reclamation of materials in Torre Del Greco allow the restoration of the original conditions of masterpieces of furniture, paintings and sculptures from all over the world.