Interview with the Artisan: Fratelli Levaggi
LEVAGGI: After the trees are selected and cut down, over a period of two to five years, the planks are aged naturally, by allowing the air to flow over and around them. The use of larger machines is limited to the very beginning of the process. Then, with hand-guided saws, we follow stencils to cut out the shapes for each component part of the chairs. By turning the legs and other round parts on lathes by hand, we achieve a precision and meticulousness of finish that no industrial machine could match. We still use natural animal glue and each join fits very tightly together, requiring many blows of the mallet. This ensures the structural integrity and great sturdiness of our chairs, giving them a very long life. Finally, the polish and wide array of colors with which we finish the chairs protects them from humidity and aging, while satisfying even the most discerning customers.
LEVAGGI: It was the entrepreneurial spirit of Rinaldo Levaggi (1934-2015) that set the wheels in motion. After many years of apprenticeship as a lathe worker in the shops of several artisans, he took over a small workshop, in 1963, and started manufacturing chiavarine, together with his three brothers.
LEVAGGI: From the beginning, in their youthful zeal, the founding Levaggi brothers participated in many trade shows, exhibitions and competitions. They soon realized that if they wanted to thrive in a broader, more international market, they would have to introduce new, more modern designs to add to their roster of time-honored models. This they proceeded to do, while always remaining true to the ancient manufacturing method still followed today.
History has proven them right, and today the Levaggi company is still thriving. Gabriele and Paolo, the latest generation of the Levaggi family to take over the reins, have given the company a new burst of energy and creativity, and are steering it into the future with a sure hand.
LEVAGGI: Fratelli Levaggi is proud to collaborate with a number of renowned international brands, among which are Salco, Fendi, Laura Biagiotti, Vogue, Matteo Thun and many others in the world of architecture and fashion.