About Artemest
The Artisan

Pietrachiara: Blending Tradition with Modern Aesthetics

Pietrachiara is a Milan-based design studio that creates timeless pieces drawing inspiration from artisan traditions, reinterpreting them with a contemporary twist. Their innovative use of colors, lines, and textures, combined with refined and modern materials, sets their work apart. With a keen focus on sustainability, Pietrachiara's designs are crafted to be timeless and adaptable to any setting.

Pietrachiara was born out of the desire to create products that blend classical and modern aesthetics, resulting in stunning and timeless pieces with the distinctive quality of Italian craftsmanship. Their entire collection is crafted by the skilled hands of artisans who collaborate with the brand, using natural materials and transforming them into beautiful artworks that complement any interior space. This approach not only makes the company a supporter of ancient and traditional Italian crafts, but also a sustainable business. Pietrachiara uses certified wood and bamboo and chooses designs that never go out of style, ensuring they can be passed from generation to generation.

Your vision is inspired by tradition, which you reinterpret with modern lines, materials, and colors. Where does this yearning to return to the past come from?

We were born and raised in Italy, surrounded by the layering of Etruscan, Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroquearts; as a result, our aesthetics were instinctively shaped by classical canons, which are known to be universal and timeless. We are proudly inspired by all that has made our country unique in the world and we endeavor to propose it in a contemporary key to be easily adapted to any space. Even when it comes to processing methods, we try to preserve the old traditions (carving, hand stuffing, brush, rag color application, etc.) wherever possible by collaborating with a bottega artisans, working in workshops. We love that our products - classics with a handcrafted touch - have that charm that never goes out of style rather than the distinctive perfection of modern industrialization.

Sustainability is one of your core values. How do you ensure that your products align with these values? What are your preferred materials to work with?

Above all, we prefer to work exclusively with natural materials, so we always use certified wood or occasionally reclaimed wood for specific custom-made projects, with its beautiful, distinctive natural vintage patina. We are also starting to produce some pieces using bamboo, an organic material that is completely sustainable in terms of natural resource use, such as water and soil, and renewability.

However, our quest for sustainability relates mainly to the quality of the materials and the classic shapes we draw inspiration from: our goal is to design products that withstand the test of time and fleeting trends so that they can be passed from generation to generation.

The hand-carved Anne column, introduced at 2023 Milan Design Week, has become one of your iconic pieces. How did the idea for this design object arise? How does the workmanship of such an intricate piece come about?

The inspiration for the Anne column emerged while browsing through a family album of old black-and-white photos from the 1930s and 40s. One of them, set in an Art Deco living room, depicted two imposing columns flanking a door. This made us reflect on this structural and decorative element and its ubiquity in architecture, from ancient Egypt which inspired the Palmette decoration to the present day, and how it can lend an air of majesty to any interior.

We loved the idea of creating one that could fit into any environment, so we worked with one of our craftsmen to take it off the page and bring it into reality. The first column was entirely hand-carved and took 2 months to complete! We then looked into a more time- and cost-effective solution: the solid lime wood is first assembled into the shape of the column and placed on a machine that traces the decorative motif, which is then finished with hand-carved details. This last step, which takes a week per column, is essential to give it depth and “soul” and to infuse an exclusivity that only hand-crafted pieces have. Colored stains are then hand-applied with a cloth to create a matte and faded effect.