Lorenzo Franceschinis, born in Friuli in the northeast of Italy, returned to his homeland in 2010 after spending several years abroad working to pursue his lifelong love of woodworking.
A believer in genuine craftsmanship, Franceschinis has focused on developing his skills ever since. Today his natural attitude towards innovation has advanced beyond traditional woodworking, where the soul of wood is often sacrificed in the name of serial production.
The Franceschinis approach to woodturning is driven by a curiosity for an established technique. Self-taught and meticulous, Franceschinis has studied the behaviour of wood in a quest to identify its raw state and so highlight its defects and bring out its intrinsic beauty.
What emerges out of this designer’s hands is not simply the result of his talent and relationship with the medium, but also the phenomena that have marked the living tree throughout history. According to Franceschinis, “Count the growth rings on a piece of wood. That will tell you how long it has taken to produce it. Single out a line and wonder what happened. Wood never lies, it’s an impartial witness of time.”
Franceschinis shows total respect for nature and sources material only from trees that have been felled for reasons other than his work.
After years of endeavour, Franceschinis persists in recreating elemental shapes in his unique pieces, seeking an opening through the very soul of the wood.
As he says, “What inspires my work is life in its simplest and most archaic form. During college I specialised in marine biology; the ocean is where life originated over 3 billion years ago and radial symmetry still dominates at a microscopical level. Possibly it is because our origin is bound to these simple shapes that we inherently find them attractive.
The lathe is my tool of choice and wood the material. Muscular memory and a trained eye are my designing tools. I believe in making people aware of the beauty that surrounds them. It is one of the most valuable forms of education in a globalised economy that defines the value of anything by price tags.
I opt for recycling; the wood is salvaged from fallen trees, opening new challenges to experiment with any species that I can find, with each displaying features that shine above all others.
I don’t like to impose myself. I’m not working on a blank plain; any excess of mine stretches the distance between myself and the medium. I rather look for a dialogue with wood's uniqueness. It is a process in constant evolution and reading trees is like browsing through the secrets of time. It is the curiosity to know more, about the wood, and about myself that drives me further.”