MBZ: How would you describe what you do as an artist?
Mario Cesari: I make objects that I like, mostly in metal, I research, I teach. "Whoever does not love his work cannot hope that it will please others"-anon.
MBZ: what inspires your designs?
Mario Cesari: Venezia (Venice) is my home town. Byzantine decoration filled my eyes since I was young. Later I was conquered by Japanese art, admiring it in the Oriental Art Museum of Venezia. Finally when I was in London I discovered Celtic metalwork.
Presently the rationale of nature plays a large part in my creations, I live in the country and love macro photography. Things made by fellow craftsmen are often a great source of inspiration. When I create a new object, be it pen, knife, box, ring etc., I make a few versions of it till I'm satisfied, technically and aesthetically, I rely on some kind of serendipity, until it is finished you can't judge it. How many sketches or pages painters and musicians had to make before their final versions? (Adams Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep)
|Mario and friends in Nepal|
Mario Cesari: When I was younger I was a radio officer as well as my brother. Once he disembarked from a ship going to decommissioning, bringing home an antenna, made of strands of copper wire. Having no better use for it, he started to make rings, bracelets and necklaces, then he silver plated them and sold them on the streets. I helped him and was hooked to metalwork, I attended a free class on copper engraving and printing, taught myself raising and sinking and the most common bench techniques.
Feeling the need to learn the various techniques in their place of origin, I traveled a lot coupling work and study: in London, I registered with the Goldsmiths' Hall, and learned blacksmithing, repoussée and chasing; in Kathmandu, invited by a nepalese silversmith, I learned small-scale sand casting and other traditional Nepalese techniques. I studied granulation and other ancient Etruscan techniques in Tuscany Forty years later I'm still learning: I learned Kum-boo from one of my students. (Ford : "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty." )
|beautiful Pennabilli Italy|
About 10 years ago I learned html and made my site www.pennabilli.org .
I sell in Etsy, http://www.etsy.com/shop/pennabilli
and Boticca, http://boticca.com/pennabilli/
I also have a blog in Ganoksin, http://ganoksin/blog/pennabilli
tutorials in Picasa web albums, https://picasaweb.google.com/pennabilli
and a FB page Mario Cesari's Page
MBZ: what other ways do you market your work?
Mario Cesari: I participate in fairs and markets in my zone, half a dozen times a year. I sell to private customers, sometimes to participants in my classes
MBZ: ah, so you teach? where can one find a class with you?
Mario Cesari: I teach in my studio (here's a list of classes on my website) which is small so I can have one or two students at a time. Usually they come for a short class, a couple of days exploring some technique. Now and then I teach classes in private schools.
Mario Cesari- Yes! Three sage advices: - Art and craft are two different realms (http://www.pennabilli.org/testi/Koplos_EN.htm), neither one is superior to the other; there is bad art and there is good craftsmanship.
An artisan must know well tool, technique and material. (Chesterton The artistic temperament is a disease that affects amateurs). I hope that you enjoy creating things new, leaving the mark of the tools and of your imagination on your pieces.
Don't think you need the latest tool or product, (good one Mario! -MBZ) have only what is necessary; make yourself simple tools, modify to your needs the worn out or cheap ones. -
If you have patience, read this page by Octavio Paz (Octavio Paz essay), it is inspiring.
Mario Cesari- I will hopefully finish writing a book on cuttlefish bone casting (and find a publisher), I will pass to a CMS for my site, must organize and put online a lot of content that's almost ready and waiting ! There will certainly be a project that will engage me, don't know yet which. In the past years the important projects that I carried on have always been unexpected commissions: making fibulas, knives, calla shaped jewels, buckles, a cross for a bishop... asked for different techniques, forging, forming, chasing, cuttlefish bone casting.
MBZ: Thanks so much for this interview Mario- it's been good to get to know you a little more through these answers! Before we sign off, is there anything else you would like to share?
(Gaudi Originalidad es volver al origen). The state of the art cannot be shared, you have to practice yourself. I can't stop exploring cuttlefish bone casting and forging. The former gives you a variety of textures, and design possibilities; the latter is the fastest way to make objects and has a charm of its own.
We will look forward to seeing the fruits of your experimentation in the future! Thanks again for your patience with me (MBZ- I took a really long time getting this together- so sorry) And thank you for sharing yourself with the Metalsmiths Unite community (and beyond)
Ciao! or, as Mario says, "Chow" -
Thanks everyone who reads these interviews- we look forward to reading your comments!
As always, MU members are always welcome to be interviewed on this blog! The post will stay up for at least a week and we will add your website to our list of links. Anyone interested in this should contact me, Maureen BZ via Facebook messenger, or by email at MBZmetals@gmail.com
Please take some time today to read through some of our other blog posts- there are interviews with many of our fellow MU members, technical articles about metalsmithing, and some general metalsmith related posts.
Also- be sure to check out our pages (in the tabs at the top of this page)! Where you can find our mission statement, the rules that we follow in the group, and a request for donations, which help keep this organization alive and running ASAP (as smoothly as possible)