Sunday, September 8, 2013

Artisans and Handicrafts in Ancient Blera

During an afternoon wander through  the fascinating medieval town of Blera   I met  two  artisans who are living proof that craftsmen   are still alive and well  and creating  handicrafts  in many of the  small  towns of Etruria .
photo album or sketch book 

Trench  creates in leather and stone 
Trench is the nickname of  stone mason/sculptor and  leather artisan   Renzo Torelli who we met as he  was  setting an array of colorful leather  objects on a table in the main piazza.  
leather picture frames 

 He confessed that working in  leather  was a new hobby he had just started up, for his primary work was  that  of  stone mason and sculptor. His house at the further end of town was his calling card, he said. 
doorways  of  Blera 
That was reason enough to abandon the   noisy  central piazza where  dozens of hungry people were already  lining  up to partake of the sagra offering fettuccine con tartufo. (pasta with truffles)
 waiting  for the  bouncy games to be blown up

Blera's   Duomo  

 Escher  inspired   stairs of Blera

 Past the Duomo, through the  tiny streets leading to Porta Marina

Porta Marina 
 and there overlooking  the lush Etruscan valley  was  the house  that Trench had  built and decorated  with sculptures, loggias and  Renaissance style windows .  
Etruscan style decorations   by  Trench 

Another artistic workshop is that of Bernardino Balzi  a soft spoken and eclectic  artist  who  creates with recycled  and found objects. 

Irish  drum in  sheep skin 
goose eggs   make  excellent  Christmas decorations 
The tiny rooms of his  atelier held a plethora of objects  including  decorated  goose eggs,  origiami, sculpture and paintings, all  in colorful confusion. 

hand made books 

You can see more of his work on his website.  

For those interested in visiting  artisans workshops  don't miss the special tour being organized   in Viterbo on September  21   by Archeoares . Call  today  and make your reservation for this free tour. Hope to see you there !
  Any special  artisans in your town?    


  1. Good to hear that Blera is working so hard to promote handicraft industry, I appreciate the initiative. The craft-work snaps that you have given, clearly shows that the people of Blera are really creative minded and can create real masterpieces. Will love to see more.

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