Osanna Visconti calls herself an artisan with a designer’s soul. Indeed, one can sense the love for artisanship and the careful design defining the beautiful jewellery and furniture that she creates. Born in Rome, in a very artistic environment, Osanna grew up surrounded by artworks created for her mother by Lucio Fontana, Mario Ceroli and Arnaldo Pomodoro. When she married Giangaleazzo Visconti – descendant of one of the oldest Italian aristocratic families- she moved to Milan, into another otherworldly home, filled with priceless antiques and art.
Tapping into her wonderful childhood memories, she creates unique pieces in bronze: “I started with jewellery, but then I decided to make jewels for the home”. From small objects like elegant cutlery and table lamps to some beautiful tables and benches, every piece is a tribute to nature and delicate femininity.
We asked Osanna to talk about her work and her inspirations:
When did you start working with bronze and why?
I started at a very young age, making jewellery. Then, about 5 years ago, I decided to make some objects for the home and some furniture. At first, they were small things, and then they grew bigger and larger… Among the first objects I created, there were some candlesticks, which, then, needed a table… and one thing led to another. Since my beginnings as a jewellery designer, besides gold and silver, I immediately worked with bronze too. It’s a wonderful metal that I’m familiar with since childhood, as I remember being fascinated by Lalanne’s furniture pieces, and other artists’ too, that were in my home. So, when I started creating objects for the home, bronze was a natural choice: I love that it is a warm “living” metal; bronze reminds me of gold.
Tell us about the lost wax technique
It is an ancient and complex technique of metal casting. First, I create the original model in wax, and then I make a cast in clay. By heating the clay, the wax melts leaving a vacuum that is then filled by pouring molten bronze in it. The name says it all: lost wax, which makes it a unique piece as once the wax gone, you start all over again. So, each time is a different story, a different piece, with different proportions and shape. I like to work with my hands, to mould the wax, its softness and malleability. What I like the most about this technique is that you start out with the wax, a very soft and vulnerable material, and then you have the bronze, solid and indestructible, imbued with a sense of eternity.
You create both jewellery and furniture: is there a difference in your creative process?
It’s the same approach, whether it’s a piece of jewellery or a piece of furniture. Basically, furniture is a jewel for the home. I love everything about one’s home. To me, a home is the mirror of those who live in it and of their true personality, revealed by how they decorate it. In a way, one can say that wearing a pair of earrings is like adding some lighting fixtures to the wall… Furniture reflects one’s personality as much as the jewels one wears.
Talk us through some of the pieces available on The Invisible Collection: Which one is your favorite and why?
I love very much an ancient piece of damask fabric I found, which I used to create a bronze cabinet. I also like the “Nastro” (ribbon) Collection, some furniture pieces in black patinated bronze, “wrapped” in a shiny metal ribbon…
Can you sum up your style in a few words?
It’s hard, as it’s like describing myself… I think that when looking at my work one can see that it’s feminine and it reflects nature, I like organic shapes, inspired by the natural world around me. Most of my objects find their right place in a contemporary decor, but work as well in a more traditional and ancient setting too. Each piece is a story in itself, and each story starts a conversation with its surroundings. The pieces blend naturally in any home and form a new chapter in its life.
What do you like about The Invisible Collection?
I like its highly selected offer, because it reflects the two founders’ taste, what they like. It is a very interesting selection, very eclectic, but at the same time, you know that it was carefully handpicked with a curatorial eye: I’m pleased to be appreciated by Isabelle and Anna, and to be part of The Invisible Collection.
Read more about Osanna Visconti in the Financial Times – How To Spend It here