FAMILY PASSION THAT BECOMES BUSINESS: FROM THE BEATING HEART OF FLORENCE, THE CRADLE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND ARTEFACT, BRONZETTO TELLS US ABOUT ITS STORY
This fascinating journey begins from the Oltrarno, historic Florentine district, suspended in between history and tradition. Developed through a unique cultural identity, linked to centenary commercial activities operating in the world of Tuscan art, antiques and craftsmanship and intertwined with experiences handed down from generation to generation, precious metals and bright colours, today it leads us to tell about a business story made of passion and experience.
Located south of the River Arno (the name means beyond the Arno), but integral part of the Florence historic centre, this area, extremely popular, has always been based by merchants and artisans since the most distant ages. By the end of the 15th century, the Oltrarno became the destination of the richest Florentine families who began to consider this quieter and healthier quarter as the perfect space where they could build new large palaces and sumptuous residences, far from the busiest northern shore.
Here in districts known as Santo Spirito and San Frediano, monuments, churches, gardens, museums and unique monumental buildings (such as Palazzo Pitti, the Basilica of Santo Spirito, the Bardini Garden and Boboli) still coexist with artisans, goldsmiths and restorers workshops, where you continue to breathe the most traditional and authentic atmosphere of the city and observe the processing techniques live, which have remained intact for centuries, but inserted in a more contemporary historical context.
Bronzetto was born here from the passion and the experience of Florentine master craftsmen. A company specialized in the production of furnishings and lighting in brass and bronze, led by the brothers Simone and Pierfrancesco Calcinai and the cousin Michelangelo, that keeps a strong family and traditional imprint (they maintained the production in the historic centre of Florence!), combining artisan tradition and technological research, thanks to the progressive introduction of new processes, materials and shapes, in which artisan skill and creativity coexist with a particular design study.
Absolute protagonists of this fascinating world are bronze and brass, two alloys that gather together all the best characteristics of their main element: copper. Extremely ductile and malleable, copper is highly resistant to corrosion, thanks to the green patina that naturally forms on its surface over time. Known and used since prehistoric times, bronze is obtained by melting copper and tin and adds to the above properties a strong elasticity and resistance to pressure.
Plus, thanks to the unusual, but very useful property of slightly expanding just before solidifying, it can fill every minimum void of a mould, allowing sculptors and artisans to realize perfects artworks, where every little detail is expressed. On the other hand, brass, an alloy composed of copper and zinc, while maintaining ductility and good resistance to corrosion, has higher values of hardness, resilience and fusibility, which makes it ideal for making a wide range of products, from sanitary to chemical and mechanical industry, up to electrical equipment, furniture and musical instruments.
Moreover brass and bronze inherited from copper a great bacteriostatic capacity, extremely important especially in this delicate health time. Known since ancient times and well demonstrated by numerous scientific researches, this feature prevents the formation of bacteria on these surfaces. Naturally antibacterial, brass and bronze are highly suitable raw materials for common used products and highly frequented contact surfaces such as handles, handrails, tables, taps, furnishing and lighting accessories for both public and private premises.
In fashion and jewellery fields all the products are widely and obligatorily subjected to frequent laboratory analyses before being marketed, to ensure their antibacterial properties when in direct contact with the skin. This is not the case of the furniture and interior design world. But, if we conceive the space in which we live as a “dress” for our bodies, it begins to become as important to pay more attention to these issues.
Bronzetto has enhanced the native brass and bronze antibacterical capacity for years, because of their importance in terms of health and safety, but also in terms of environmental sustainability: thanks to the possibility of a complete recycling and remelting of them and to the remarkable performance guaranteed over time, brass and bronze can actually be considered sustainable and ecological raw materials.
The sparkle of brass and the warmth of bronze among disassembled pieces, original models and unique collector’s items transform the Bronzetto’s artisan workshop (accessible by appointment) in a rich in source of inspiration which, combined with the flair, passion and competence of its master craftsmen, allows to express the creativity of architects and interior designers, creating unique projects for hotels and private homes.
Custom-made pieces of furniture, lighting and accessories, realized according to the architects, designers and private customers needs: true unique works of art, original and extraordinarily eclectic that become collector’s items.