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The Soul of the Wood

Artist Lorenzo Franceschinis

Cedar of Lebanon vessel
18" diameter x 8" tall

THE ARTIST: Lorenzo Franceschinis

KNOWN FOR: Sculptural wooden vessels that celebrate the unpredictable, and often imperfect, beauty of nature.

EVOLVING AND OBSERVING: "I worked as a scientist until 2009, and decided to dedicate myself full-time to woodworking ever since. I grew up in the countryside, where I still work, and I have spent a great deal of time observing nature. I like to think of my skills as a never-ending puzzle; you develop both technically and culturally. The more pieces you put together, the more likely you will be able to express what is in your mind through your hands."

ORGANIC SHAPES: "During college I specialized in marine biology. The ocean is where life originated over three billion years ago, and you will be amazed by how many shapes and structures at a microscopic level have a counterpart in our modern world. Perhaps it is because our origin is bound to these simple shapes that we inherently find them attractive."

LISTENING TO THE WOOD: "Trees represent a live archive of events that shaped them throughout their lifespan. They are impartial witnesses of time. I cannot simply impose shape, color, texture, discarding the work of decades or even centuries. I must find a dialogue with the material and compromise with it. The unpredictability of the outcome only makes the whole process more fascinating. I never opt for concealing what, in my view, was what the tree wanted."

THE PRICE OF BEAUTY: "I believe in making people aware of the beauty that surrounds them. It is probably one of the most valuable forms of education. I often say that some vessels have someone's name written on it. You recognize them right away—no matter their dire economic situation, they must have it. And they always do. Becuase I would be very disappointed about myself if I denied beauty for money."

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