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Carlo Apollo, wooden floors designer since 1978. Italy



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Imagine we don’t know anything about it… can you describe your profession?

My job is to give body to an idea of art. It can seem vague, but it is really what I do. I have some values founded on the belief that Art must permeate every instant, every centimeter of our life: my objective is to make my philosphy tangible and real. How do I succeed there? Working on the wood, creating artistic floors. You can find art even under your feet.

What materials do you use?

My favorite material is wood, recovery wood that I use to create new products, with a history on the shoulders. But not just wooden materials: I enjoy combining stones and metals like an alchemist.

Who is you ideal client’s profile?

My ideal client is someone that recognizes the value of Beauty, someone who invests in the craftsmanship. Someone who reasons in terms of art and who shares my aesthetical conception: everything, a picture, a painting or a floor, deserves to be marvelous.

You chose to be a craftsman. How did this decision appear to be an evidence to you?

For me it has been natural to work in the design world. Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated by the simplicity of rustic and veracious things: the environments of the house, the heat of the family, the smells of a kitchen. I wanted to recompose the memories of my childhood in something that could recreate the feelings of a pleasant, warm, joyful space.

Would you define your job a passion? What is the best moment you had in your job?

My job is a passion, no doubt. Otherwise I would not do it with the desire of doing my best. However, more than a passion it really is an obedience to a moral law: to realize something that is unforgettable. This is my mission.

One of the most important creation I did is the floor for the Kremlin’s Throne Room, in Moscow. For me, working on it it has been a high recognition, an honour. I love also to remember the floors I have realized for some important restaurants and cafe in center of Milan, where I have been able to mix my creativity and the style of different environments.

What role do “talent”, “know-how” and “creativity” play in your profession?

I think that talent and know-how go together, they are not separable.

It is important to have creativity and talent to give a sense of unique, innovation and originality to the process of realizing something. But without knowing how to do it, without the technical tools and the competences, it is hard to go further. And it is for this reason that I have decided to start my formation in the yards, assisting great design masters, like Mario di Donato and Renzo Mongiardino.

And what about innovation, what are the changes since you started? Do you use new materials, tools, processes, marketing. What’s the impact of innovation on your performances? How could your profession be more innovative?

The technical innovation allows us to realize more and more defined works. But I am proud to buck the trend.

By now, lasers are a reality in the carpentry world, and they have replaced more ancient tools.

In my laboratory, however, we decorate in a different way, perhaps less modern, but capable to allow us to be totally in contact with our materials.

We do everything by hand, we cut, we engrave, we pierce everything according to the methods of our fathers. Then yes, no doubt that innovation can bring, macroscopically, to faster way to produce and to a more standardized quality. But I prefer the slowness of the fingers on the wood, the imperfection of the lines.

Where and how you long did you train before you where ready for creating your business? Imagine that you want to invite young generation to choose your profession, what would be your message to them?

I have studied many years before feeling ready to create something. I had to compare myself with great artisans, teachers and workers. Only then I felt like I could have started. But the training has no end: since the 1970s, I challenge myslef, my abilities and my limits.

I would like to tell young people that craftsmanship is an uproarious adventure: it is the occasion to invent something new, to create ourselves and to to give a contribution to the beauty of the world.

There is not anything more beautiful than to have in our hands something created by our own strengths and our own imagination. 

In conclusion, describe a meaningful experience or a personal reflection that you would like to share with us and explain why.

I would want to share with you a feeling that I have every time that I see my creation. I start from a living material, the wood, that has been born with the imperfections that nature has conferred it: scars, storture, scratches.

Someone can judge them flaws, for me they are signs of character . I call it “The praise of imperfection”.

In a world where everything is perfect and everything must be homologated, I vote for the fault, for the small mole that you can’t forget.


To know more about this craftsman, see his profile

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