‘T,’ that is… as in tremendous! The April 26 outing to the workshop of William Manfredi, internationally-known artisan who refers to his particular line of work as sculpturing in precious metals, was fascinating in every conceivable way. Manfredi, who apprenticed in silver chasing (that is tooling) in Florence, Italy for seven years, returned home to open his own atelier located in the East Village and to make a distinguished name for himself here. Since that day, he has been commissioned to do work for noted clients such as Tiffany’s, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Cartier and notables such as Rex Harrison, Mary Tyler Moore and infamous financier Edmund Thomas Safra, to name but a few.
The real value of the event, however, was the private tour of his fascinating facility. There, we viewed samples of his legendary oeuvres both in photos and in actuality which included his work on the famed Kentucky Derby cup the year Seattle Slew swept the day and his exquisite salt & pepper shakers in artichoke motif, the design of which Cartier later purchased. A thorough explanation by him of how his work is performed—chasing and repoussé (tooling from the backside) - both intrigued and mesmerized us all. This is the true value of this and other such outings... the opportunity to observe master craftsmen at work and forming early-on relationships with them that may very well one day play key roles in our own related careers. Those who missed this excursion missed a rare opportunity few in our art and art appraisal world ever experience, further enriching our knowledge of professional craftsmanship so critical to our particular métier. Thank you, Louise, for a splendid event!