An art, with its secret, its manual rites and its tools, to be preserved but also developed through new technologies. This is the aim of Sandro Tiberi, a craftsman and an expert in the art of making handmade paper. A “Mastro Cartaio“, as we said in Italy, who has been working in paper mills since 1985. There he learned all the trade secrets. His art “lives” in the place that suits him best, Fabriano, a small town in Marche where paper has been produced since 1264. Because it’s precisely here that this kind of art has been revolutionized, after being invented in China two centuries earlier, and has achieved excellence thanks to some important inventions, such as the hydraulic stack with multiple hammers, that allowed to increase production, and the microprinting that was used to mark the different sheets.
Sandro Tiberi and the Academy of the Papermaking Art
We can preserve an art by practicing it and creating, there’s no doubt. But it’s not enough. To make sure that this knowledge can reach other people, it is necessary to teach them and train new professional figures open to the future and innovations, but with an eye to the past and the tradition. Sandro Tiberi in his “Academy of the Papermaking art” proposes daily courses and workshops with the aim of passing on this heritage of skills and know-how. Tiberi, during his speeches, tries to change the perspective and the point of view of the beholder: paper should no longer be considered as a simple support but as an active element in the realization of the final work.
A “guardian” of this job. A professional who still believes in manual work, patience, in the choice of the right tools but, above all, in quality as an element that requires time and care, a man who prefers personalization against the standards imposed from above. In a few words, an upstream figure, one of those who ennobles traditional crafts without denying innovation and that are, and always will be, a heritage that is invaluable for Italy.
Photo credits: Stefano Pedrelli