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Urbino has a long and well-documented tradition of
artistic craftsmanship, especially from the Renaissance
on-wards. Its goldsmiths, furniture makers, printers
and ceramists were famed in days gone by, and a
number of workshops operating today bear witness to
this creative spirit.
Printmaking in particular remains vibrant thanks to
the extraordinary legacy of the “Scuola del Libro”, an
institution established in 1923 and developed over
the subsequent years to great success. Teachers such
as Francesco Carnevali, Leonardo Castellani, Renato
Bruscaglia, Carlo Ceci, Umberto Franci, Pietro Sanchini and Enrico Ricci – to name just a few – passed on
their love of artistic creation and the technical skills
needed to create high-quality works to generations of
young people. Here too, harking back to the tradition of
Renaissance manuscripts, Urbino managed to continue
the trend for combining text and illustrations, with
methods
that set the standard for the world of publishing in Italy
and further afield.
In Urbino, chalcographic printing has kept alive the
heart and soul of the manual process, the charm of
small-scale production, and the scent of the raw materials that take us back in time. The plate, an expert
design, acid, the proper waiting times, quality paper
and a press: a balancing game between the mind, the
hand and the tools. Urbino’s tradition of graphic design
incorporates a culture that represents the best of Italian
creativity.
Another form of craftsmanship unique to Urbino is the
“Stella Ducale”, an object in wrought iron and glass,
the form of which is inspired by the Platonic solids of
the mathematician Luca Pacioli (1447-1517). Each
“star” is the result of a meticulous manual process,
passed down over the years by master craftsmen.