a life creative
Up until the mountain winter thwarted studio work efforts (and instilled in me the desire to hibernate), I’d had a lot of commissions in a short space of time and sold a lot of older stock, including the waves ring I’d designed in Firenze.
Whenever I remember to photograph my work I mostly post it to Facebook or Instagram. To date they seem to work as the best as sales platforms. I reopened the Etsy store but Etsy has become a whole other creature since the days of happy sales and commissions from there, all the way back in 2012.
And this blog has more or less been neglected, and most likely to be so in the coming year.
For my upcoming designsI’ve been in talks this summer to start a catalogue and have photos done professionally using models (a couple of stunning Tuscan sisters who were my English students).
In the meantime it’s all me… some older work from throughout the year: apologies in advance for the non-airbrushed model and the less-than-perfect photo quality.
How’s the Water?
My studio has been open a year in March and I’m STILL waiting on the water to be connected. That’s pretty bad, no? Even by Italian standards.
That means for almost a year I’ve bucketing water from the fountain to the loo and filling a zillion plastic water bottles to wash our hands, and for general studio use. I guess I’ve saved money on the gym, and the recycling should have me feeling the warm fuzzies. Nope.
By July last year this farce was getting old, so the idea of escaping to the cultural hub of Firenze began as a light threat that by the end of August had turned into The Ultimatum and I said these magical words out loud: “if the water isn’t connected by October, next year I’m going to rent somewhere in Firenze….”
Firenze and Officine Nora
…and that very same decisive day, Girl In Florence posted on her Instagram this:
It’s a shared jewellery workspace called Officine Nora. They rent bench and workspace by the day, week, month and even yearly, and they sell their marvellous designs in the studio, and they teach metalsmithing classes.
I swooped, got in contact and went post haste to see the place and meet the founder and jewellery-maker Margherita de Martino Norante and Valentina Caprini.
I will be working here for three months, between 1 March and 31 May. It means leaving the Etruscan and the cat and forcing myself to stop wondering if they’ll eat anything other than pasta in bianco and frozen pizza, and unhooking the safety net of Santa Fiora and knowing everyone in town.
But I do know lots of people in Firenze, and the husband survived 45 years without me before I burst into his world to boss him around, and, well, the cat is a cat.
So aside from those few butterflies in the tummy, I’m so looking forward to the creative exchange that working in a shared studio space offers, and – dare I say – running water.
New Name, New Identity
In keeping with the theme of change, the name Kittykatmandoo – aside from the blog name and a few internet vestiges – is no more. It was high time to retire it for myriad reasons, the least of which being it’s long and difficult to spell here (kappas and epsilons and all of that). It has also become synonymous with an different style and a whole other life. I’m now working under the name Ali Matteini, have changed the logo and going with a sleeker style overall which I hope reflects the ideas, style and designs I’ve been processing over the winter.