From Trapani to Modica, from the big city to the small town: female creativity knows no boundaries or even age. Today I’ll tell you about five Sicilian artisans and their creations.
Nina’s small little world
The representation of Palermo is very meticulous. Hundreds of small houses with tiled roofs, antennas, trees, tiny Moto Ape and cats, red domes and prickly pears on the balconies. The ink drawings, lit here and there by soft watercolors, show a crowded and Mediterranean city, you feel just like you could smell it or hear its noises.
Nina has always drawn and painted, a slip of paper is an irresistible attraction for her. Even when she was studying as a restorer she already knew that this was her passion, and finally it slowly took over, transforming her into a full time illustrator. With a preference for small, detailed images.
On her Etsy shop she showcases imaginary city views, illustrated Sicilian recipes, the calendar, and it is possible to request personalized maps, for example with one’s favorite places, the illustration of one’s family home, one’s own favorite recipe. “For me, it is work, of course, but it is also a way of expressing myself, of fixing the reality that surrounds me by covering it with a little imagination, which we all need”.
Franca’s infinite patience
To find Franca Pollichino you have to go into the most remote folds of the province of Palermo until you reach Contessa Entellina, a solitary and silent agricultural village nestled between fields and vineyards.
Franca’s passion is working bobbin lace, an ancient and very elaborate technique. “I started as a child – she says – following a course. When it finished, I continued privately by going to the teacher’s home. As I gained experience I would go back to her just to show her what I had done. And I never stopped ”.
Franca works at home, her hands move with grace and skill, intertwining dozens of thin threads in a surprising way. She creates shawls and vestments, fans, earrings, Christmas balls, doilies and more, to order.
“At the beginning, I modeled the salt dough, for me it was a pastime”. Daniela Neri started creating her jewels about twenty years ago, inspired by the art of the Trapani coral crafters. And to do this she used salt, thus putting together two of the best-known sea products of Trapani, her city.
“After some time I met the owner of the salt pans Ettore Infersa, who invited me to exhibit my creations in their salt shop. To make them more durable, I started making them with a particular mixture of resin and salt, always coloring them in shades of coral. They liked them, and a lot! Now my jewels are in various shops in Trapani, but also in Palermo, Rome, Ischia. And I have begun to create small nativity scenes, also inspired by the Trapani tradition, as well as decorations for bags, bowls and more”.
The thousand colors of Alessandra and Sabina
Two sisters and a pile of colored fabrics. If you are near Noto in the summer, a visit to Blanco Tappezzeria is a must. Here you’ll find the creations of the two Blanco sisters, bags, shoulder bags, cushions but also armchairs and poufs, all very colorful.
“The upholstery was born on the initiative of our brother Giovanni – they say – and over time he involved us”. An excellent choice, one could say, given that creativity has taken off and the original multicolor handbags and other objects of desire have been placed side by side with upholstery and curtains.
“The pieces are all unique, because they are hand-sewn starting from different combinations of fabrics, with original stitching and small precious details”. In winter, or if you can’t go to Noto, there’s a shop in Modica, but you can also buy online.