MAGAZINE ARTICLE "Case e Arte di Vivere in CAMPAGNA"
We want to share with you the article that Amélie Dupont published in the April-May issue of "CAMPAGNA, casa e arte di vivere" magazine, a large space that filled us with pride and satisfaction.
Protective, inspiring of positive thoughts, enlightening, each accompanied by a phrase that describes its qualities.
The world of handmade Angels in Friuli made by L'Oca Bianca ed Altre Storie is rich in poetry and imagination, with its wooden silhouettes, linen, silk, organza clothes...
We interview its founder, Alda Rita Bressanutti, a brilliant craftsman who, with humble materials, married to other precious ones, manages to give life to unique creations, inspired by the beauty of nature and the spirit.
How and when was the idea about L'Oca Bianca ed Altre Storie born?
The Idea of the design and decoration laboratory L'Oca Bianca ed Altre Storie® was born in 1998 as a challenge: to transform a passion into a stable job, starting from the principle that, putting commitment, hard work, responsibility, patience and a little madness... anything can be done. I came from another world: I had worked for 15 years as a translator-interpreter but, even though I loved my job, I felt that I was missing something fundamental. When I became seriously ill I realized that I had to do what I had always wanted: to draw and build things with my hands. On my side I had an innate manual ability, a passion for drawing and for many materials, from my previous work I had useful contacts, the habit of managing complex situations with tenacity and a pragmatic vision of work: this plus that and adventure began.
Why the name L'Oca Bianca ed Altre Storie?
As a child they called me "the daughter of the White Goose", my mother had golden hands, she was able to transform disused clothes into fashionable skirts and jackets, made felt hats with the cloth of old coats and sewed magnificent slippers, the “scarpets”, recovering old shirts and soles from the punctured bicycle tires. Recycling and reuse in Friuli has always been a current activity for women, fueled by the need to do with what was there and the ability to do it well. The Goose then, in many religions embodies the figure of the messenger of the gods, expresses positive values of expansion and renewal. The great wild geese are tireless, faithful and loyal travelers, when they migrate they make sure that no member of the flock is left behind and give the courage to follow their instincts. I would say that its symbolism represents both my personal history and the spirit with which I created the laboratory. By adding "Other Stories" I wanted to open the business to external collaborations and expand the team: now the team, all female, is made up of 9 women.
Tell us about the Angels.
I don't remember a single important moment in my life when there was no angel symbol to accompany me, starting with the little angel, made by my grandmother, with the "scùs" - the leaves of corn - and attached to my cradle, to the angel painted above the door of my paternal house under the faded inscription "angel's inn", to the human angels I met in the most difficult moments and who literally saved my life. But what started the production of the angels in the laboratory was the gift of a wooden angel from a friend: the same evening I dreamed of a little blue angel and a voice that said: "follow the flight of angels". The next day I bought a sheet of plywood and a manual fretwork and cut my first angel. I haven't stopped since then. Over time, the angels in the workshop have refined their shapes, they have been dressed in clothes of the most varied shapes and with many types of fabrics, the little faces have been painted with essential features to give an expressiveness that makes them unique. I really wanted them to be messengers, bearers of good news and so I started writing small dedications on the cardboard on which they are glued. Even now, after so many years and so many angels (this year we are celebrating the 220,000th angel!) A funny thing happens to me, every time I create a new collection - it usually happens twice a year - I close myself in the laboratory by myself and start to draw, cut and compose the clothes of the new angels thinking about the theme that the colors and shapes will have to develop, then when I take the pen in my hand to write the sentences, I feel a sense of bewilderment, I do not find the train of thought, until suddenly everything is clear to me and the words arrive one after the other without effort.
Which other creations does your brand make?
In addition to the angels, we create BIJOUX, we make PAPER objects, cards, notebooks, albums, paintings, using various techniques, from watercolor to collage. We also work on particular one-off projects, in collaboration with other artisans, such as the creation of hand-loomed SHAWLS or silk scarves printed from my watercolor drawings, of BAGS made with recycled materials. We design furnishing accessories, artwork and decorative panels on request. We have also designed a line of lamps called BOOKS OF LIGHT.
Which material do you use for your creations?
For the angels, we use poplar or beech wood, fabrics of all kinds: cotton, linen, silk, wool, velvet. In bijoux there are always hard stones in particular: quartz, aquamarine, jasper, mother of pearl, moonstone, labradorite. The paper we use is always recycled and that of the drawings is in cotton paper made by the ancient Amatruda paper mill in Amalfi. For textiles we always and only use raw natural yarns that we dye by hand. We make great use of recovery and recycling in all our productions.
What does the new collection consist of?
Twice a year, in spring and autumn, until before the pandemic in correspondence with the major international trade fairs in which we participated (HOMI MILANO, MAISON & OBJET PARIS, AMBIENTE FRANCOFORTE), I design the entire new production of ANGELS, BIJOUX and PAPER developing a theme both in terms of colors (the collections are distinguished in numbered PALETTES) and meanings. Everything is completely renewed and replaces the previous production: new ANGELS, new BIJOUX, new PAPER.
In addition to the production of the COLLECTIONS, which is mainly sold B2B, we do many customizations, that is, we create special angels with unique characteristics on request. We have created customized angels for famous people, such as singers, sportsmen, writers, actors and also dedicated to the most varied professions (doctors, lawyers, chimney sweeps, fishermen, dancers, etc.) also making miniature accessories.
Who are your customers?
As far as B2B is concerned, we are truly transversal, we have concept stores, framers, herbalists, furniture stores, clothing stores, bookstores, florists, stationers, perfumeries, craft shops and even a pharmacy. Most of the retailers are located in Italy, but we also have some loyal retailers in Portugal, Austria and Germany and in the United States.
Our private customers are 90% women, in the age group from 33 to 70 years.
Where to buy your creations?
The COLLECTIONS can be purchased directly from our online shop https://shop.ocabianca.com/, or through the network of resellers https://www.ocabianca.com/punti-vendita/, while in our laboratory-shop in San Daniele del Friuli (UD) you can also find special projects, and many other types of decoration as well as numerous unique pieces.