Category Archives: ART

Narrow Street in Florence Leads to Amazing Leather Artisan!


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)


photo (71) The creative, painted book sculptures of Pascal Courcelles quickly caught my eye at the “Paris Art Fair”. I wanted to know more about the sculptures and the artist.

I am always curious about the stories in people’s lives. Why did they choose their path?

france april 13 315

This thirst for more sent me traveling from Paris to his studio outside Brussels.

Pascal’s passion for his work was quickly obvious as he talked about the inspiration for the book sculptures. His deep belief that “books” are such a foundation of life gave him the vision to include his life in his work.

The books are not just any books…but rather books from his parents and grandparents, books on art, books with knowledge, even a cookbook!  Books are no longer left alone on shelves but are now seen and enjoyed.

Making his life part of his art continued in other works. The colorful tower is made from a year’s worth of his used paint tubes!

Old postcards received from friends are painted and given new life.

Talk about Living Green!!

Pascal Courcelles, an artist sharing his life mixed with his love for color.



Art can be small but deliver a big impact!

Even though less than 10″ long, the sculpture was like a magnet, pulling me to view and view some more.

Wu Junyong’s, “Arm Pointing To The Distance”, was hung on a large blank wall in small Shanghai gallery. The tapered extended finger fueled my imagination and didn’t allow me to be stuck in the now….but propelled me to what “might be”.

World Travel does the same…allowing us to  see what might be.

Wu Junyong, born in 1978, is one of China’s new generation of artist developing fresh, unique art and messages. Some even think Junyong may be the most important artist in China today!

His art often “tells us what we know but are afraid to talk about”.

FullSizeRenderChristin Kalweit, in Ifagallery, chose barbed wire to send her message: “There is no innocence, only different levels of responsibility.”

In her art…the razor wire seems to be harmless, not revealing its true purpose.

the refined blades / our words / thoughts / decisions  / actions /  reactions just keep on rolling / neglecting the traces left behind.”

This message has crept into my mind often and in only a few weeks had me rethink and make some changes.

China’s art opened my eyes!