Experimentation, recycling, beauty: 3 craftswomen in Venice show us a more humane future

Organising the VIP Tours for Homo Faber 2022 was a great privilege for Nexa, and our contribution to the promotion of international high craftsmanship.

The guided tours to the discovery of ancient Venetian crafts, part of our "Unexpected Venice by Nexa" project, found a perfect match in the themed visits to the great artisans hosted by Homo Faber at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice.

We escorted representatives of the international press, guests from prestigious high jewellery maisons, and scholars of the world of high craftsmanship, and guided them through the beauty of Homo Faber and the precious artefacts especially created for the event.

We would like to share with you the work of the 3 craftswomen exhibiting at Homo Faber who impressed us most.

Tamsin van Essen
The common thread connecting the body and ceramics? The fine line between beauty and imperfection? It is explored by ceramicist Tamsin Van Essen. Two worlds coexist in her: an expert in ceramics, she graduated in Physics and Philosophy and worked in science publishing. The result? Vases and objects inspired by anatomy, the use of carving to incorporate historical forms such as those of the apothecary jars used in the 1700s. Pierced or carved between elegant arabesques, her vessels use porcelain clay into which the artist incorporates unusual elements such as salt or yeast, creating bubbles, cracks and unexpected textural effects: a metaphor for the incessant changes that take place in the human body every day.

Vanessa Barragão
As a child, Vanessa loved watching her grandmother sew with scraps of fabric. Passionate about textiles, she delved into the creation of new textile arts. Today, in her work, many traditional methods – from crochet to embroidery, from needle felting to carpet weaving – give life to highly unique carpets and objects that evoke worlds inspired by the sea but also complex lunar surfaces. Her raw materials are more than sustainable: recycled fabrics and yarns remnants salvaged from old local factories are the basis on which this textile artist handcrafts her creations for the love of art and nature.

Milla Novo
It all began with the knotted rope bracelets that Milla used to sell to friends – no coincidence for the little girl who, from a very young age, had watched her mother weave wonders with the ancient techniques of the Mapuche people. Milla creates wall hangings with designs that at times have a tribal touch, reworking classic 1970s macramé work in an abstract way with an ethnic and contemporary edge. Her signature touch? The use of metallic ropes in gold, bronze and silver, specially created for wall pieces that combine folk geometric patterns with elegant textures.

These 3 women celebrate the ostensibly transient beauty of the human being and nature by combining traditional techniques with unusual materials, experimenting and pointing the way to a more conscious world.

Photo © Federica Lazzarini, Gionata Smerghetto

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