Vis­conti di Mo­drone uses the same se­cret tech­niques to make a small ring and a grand din­ing ta­ble

VOGUE Living Australia - - Art & Design - Visit os­an­navis­ VL

OSANNA VIS­CONTI DI MO­DRONE/ OMV The ate­lier of Osanna Vis­conti di Mo­drone is a stone’s throw from the Gothic won­der that is Mi­lan’s Duomo, but her ‘OMV’-em­bla­zoned show­room in­vites no part of the cathe­dral’s tourist throng. Its con­ceal­ment in the me­dieval part of town is known to col­lec­tors who come, through word of mouth, to claim own­er­ship of the artist’s Ivy Climb­ing bracelets (with their mag­nif­i­cent creeps of metal Hed­era leaves) or her per­fect lit­tle Paglia di Vi­enna ta­ble, seem­ingly sur­faced in a wicker that be­lies its con­sti­tu­tion of bronze. “Yes, you have to come and look for us,” says Vis­conti di Mo­drone, es­chew­ing the ‘shop’ de­scrip­tion of the jewellery-box space that she co-designed with Di­more Stu­dio and shares with her daugh­ter Mad­ina, also a jewellery de­signer. “We are artists.” And the term artist is not over­stat­ing her mas­tery of the lost-wax method of cast­ing bronze — a mould-mak­ing process that has changed lit­tle since the an­cients cast their em­per­ors into solid ef­fi­gies. Reared in Rome, where the predilec­tions of her par­ents (her mother a col­lec­tor of jewellery by the avant-garde likes of Lu­cio Fon­tana; her father an ar­chi­tect) infused her sen­si­bil­ity, Vis­conti di Mo­drone moved to Mi­lan more than 25 years ago to marry con­tem­po­rary art dealer Gian­galeazzo Vis­conti di Mo­drone, whose aris­to­cratic lin­eage traces back to me­dieval Mi­lan. His sta­ble of art stars ro­tates on the home walls that rise above her stu­dio, but Vis­conti di Mo­drone in­sists that they don’t live with ‘looks’ — only ‘likes’. And yet, all that im­mer­sion in mod­ern art and ar­chi­tec­ture must have honed the look of her work — an or­ganic plas­tic­ity that re­minds of artist Diego Gi­a­cometti. Vis­conti di Mo­drone, how­ever, cred­its Mother Na­ture as her muse and has mapped her path to metal sculpt­ing through gemol­ogy stud­ies in New York and an ap­pren­tice­ship with Ro­man gold­smith Teresa Sch­wendt, who taught her the secrets of the lost-wax method. Hav­ing crafted fur­ni­ture for both the Palazzo Fendi Pri­vate Suites in Rome and the Schi­a­par­elli Sa­lons Bou­tique in Paris’ Place Vendôme, Vis­conti di Mo­drone uses those same se­cret tech­niques to make both a small ring and a grand din­ing ta­ble — al­ways us­ing the same es­sen­tial iron in­stru­ments to model the wax. Re­cently sculpt­ing a counter for the Peter­sham Nurs­eries’ new life­style des­ti­na­tion in Lon­don’s Covent Gar­den, the artist wel­comed the chance to in­dulge her ro­bust nat­u­ral­ism in a bronze bar tex­tured by leaves in her client’s gar­den. “No two works are ever the same,” she says, adding that her head, hand and heart al­ways nu­ance out­comes. “That is the na­ture of my art.”

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