Many may have passed under the archway entering the narrow Via Santa Margherita on their way to Dante’s Church (Chiesa Di Dante). Sometimes we can be so focused on our destination, we miss treasures nearby.
Tucked in his small workshop/store across from Dante’s Church, Simone Taddei works his magic creating leather boxes and accessories by hand that are true works of art.
I couldn’t resist holding one and then another…and soon I was selecting several for myself and gifts for friends.
The process starts with wooden forms that are covered with dampened rawhide and bound with rubber bands until dried. Simone is a perfectionist and explained that he only uses hide from the shoulder.
His desire for the best is always part of his creation. Notice the black band of paraffin that is added to allow the lid of the finished box to glide when it is opened and closed!!
He now applies thin calfskin over the dried rawhide and with experienced hands shaves the edges so there is no visible seam!
His tools have been handed down from his father and his grandfather, all makers of leather pieces before him. The small hammer is very special as it was used by his great-grandfather in his shoe making business…4 generations!
In the final steps, the calfskin is colored, waxed, and polished…3 weeks from start to finish!
The quality of Simone’s hand-crafted leather pieces has earned him articles in world publications. Yet, Simone continues to work with no assistants, creating each piece with timeless care.
Via Santa Margherita, 11
(across from Dante’s Church)