During my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, I was always intrigued by the fascinating practice of the burin and the mark left by this instrument on antique prints.

Unfortunately, the techniques I studied at the Academy were always drypoint or other indirect techniques such as etching, aquatint or soft wax, and I never found a master from whom I could learn the art of burin engraving.

It was a habit for me, after my everyday studying at the Academy, to visit the various ironmongers specialised in engraving tools in the area. Through their experience I was able to deepen and deepen my knowledge, satisfying my curiosity by asking them many questions. I still remember my first rod from which I made my first burin.

After studying at the Academy, I used to go home and practise. It was a long and demanding path because, as in all arts, you need a lot of perseverance and determination to get the first results.

The first technique I learned was the burin technique. In fact, I began to cultivate this technique by specialising and refining each step: from preparing the tool to holding the burin correctly, so that I could run the point at a constant speed and pressure. At the beginning, I engraved line after line until I learned to mark perfectly straight lines of the same depth. From that moment on, I felt ready to move on to the next level, which was curved lines and, and later, geometric and more complex shapes.

To engrave professionally and to a high standard, a lot of time and practice was needed. In fact, I was fortunate enough to be able to hone my technique and devote time to my engraving by reconciling this new passion of mine with my job. At that time, I was supporting myself with the salary I was getting as a graphic designer, managing my time without stress, feeling fulfilled both through my studies and my work.

I have always treasured the experiences I have had the good fortune to face and the excellent advice I have received from the masters I have met during my professional growth: from master Vichi Luca, a goldsmith in Rome, who forged papal and votive coins in his workshop, to master Gianfranco Pedersoli, who specialised in the art of knives in Brescia, to whom I was pleased to give a burin, and the small printing house in Porto, where I was able to meet many artists and art dealers. It was in Portugal that I bought a burin with a chestnut wood handle that had caught my eye because of its charm.

I have tried and tested various types of burins on small copper dies, from square-tipped to triangular-tipped to diamond-tipped, and the results have intrigued me so much that I have not been able to stop experimenting with new ways and styles. I like to use all engraving techniques, from point and hammer to burin, especially to define and create particular details and realistic shadows. It is no coincidence, or perhaps it is just my humble opinion, that the beauty of the burin is the stimulation in research, reflections and operations that are different from any other engraving tool, at least among those I have ever tried.

I love the burin both because it allows me to make a particular mark that remains impressed on the plate, but also because I consider it a very personal instrument, almost an extension of myself, both from the anatomical point of view and from the point of view of the expression of personality: even the way you hold it can have a considerable effect on the gesture and the strength of the marks. Some signs, in fact, I have made them so personal and mine that, to use a metaphor, I now feel like writing my signature on a sheet of paper, an automatic gesture that is unique to me.

For example, sharpening, a fundamental phase the success of the work, is my favourite moment because, like a blacksmith or a craftsman, it allows me to create my own work tool with my own hands, depending on the needs and conditions. I repeat this operation from time to time during the execution of the design.

In this regard, and to reiterate the undeniable importance of this phase, all the master engravers between Rome, Brescia and Porto that I had the opportunity to meet had a different, highly personal and original way of sharpening the point of the burin – the burin, if used, if restored and if care is taken, becomes a unique, personal and rare piece.

Finally, the burin, despite being a rigid tool, also fascinates me because of the way it allows me to dominate and at the same time enhance its conditioning imposed by movement. The result of its mark is obviously and exclusively a prolonged, constant, productive and reasoned matter of exercise and habit.

It took me years to achieve a result that could be considered decent, but my desire and passion led me to proudly share my education, my works and my job. My art fully gratifies me and allows me to pursue my dream by giving me the strength not to stop.

This unique piece is my passion but also my madness. This tool can really scratch anything: cutting a soft material like metal becomes like running a pencil over a sheet of paper.

I have always felt like a researcher of the sign, and this ancient technique that has come down to our days, capable of transferring the sign through a constant energy, conceptual, muscular and nervous, to be changed and modelled into gestures, to be converted into cuts, recesses, graphic values and therefore into images, has made my research a real journey into the world of graphics, both ancient and digital.


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Print at burin, 30×30 cm – FINE ART

foresta, 2021


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