This post is also available in ITALIANO
The first time I met Barbara, the l’Opificio,’s designer, was during Maison&Objet in Paris. Paola, her sister, told me she doesn’t always like speak about herself and that it would have been difficult to have an interview with her. However, it arised a great compatibility so, here we are, talking about colours, shapes, trends and design.
I went to l’Opificio stand during Salone del Mobile, hoping Barbara was willing to answer some of my questions.
The pictures have been all taken by Davide and show their new collections.
Interview to Barbara Bertoldo
How does your creative process work?
I’m convinced it’s different for each person: we can find the inspiration everywhere even in very simply ways. A careful research is not always required; as soon as I’m concerned, for example, I’m very appealed by colours in a totally unconscious way. I let surrounding things strike me.
On one hand, there is a creative side, typical of my character, on the other hand there’s the awareness and knowledge, I guess. While, when you’re twenty-five, you’re not always aware of what happens in your mind actually, nowadays, after years of experience, I’m quite sure. it’s like my experience had permitted to construct, year after year, my own way of working.
From inspiration to realization
Where do you find your inspiration?
It’s pretty random, actually. Like every creative work there are positive and negative days; but there are some days where the ideas easily get together one to another.
I’m always looking for something new, but I don’t where to find it: sometimes it comes from the way someone is wearing, sometimes it simply comes when you’re strolling around.
What happens after choosing the concept?
After the concept, I speak with technicians with whom I evaluate the qualities of the fabrics and start making attempts.
90% the attempts show positive results, sometimes, instead, they don’t reflect the expectations. Even if the technology and the craftsmanship are their highest potential, there is always some restrictions that could prevent your work.
Once the drawing is completed, and the fabric is decided, we usually prepare the colour test. We realize many stripes where we insert all the possible yarns and decide which is the best.
interview to Barbara Bertoldo textile designer L’Opificio Torino
The Importance of colours
Who’s in charge of selecting colours?
The colours selection has to be done step by step, otherwise you risk to reach the saturation and to be repetitive. You have to consider that there usually are 150 hundreds of colour attempts, but then you have to choose only fifteen varieties. So, you understand it’s pretty difficult. Every step requires to be thought for days always in relation with the last collections. This selection is made by Paola and I, so that we could distinguish the personal value from our collection’s one. However, we rarely let commercial trends totally influence our choices
Art and Design
Now, I’ll address a question I really like: what’s the difference between art and design?
Help! That’s difficult!
If I’m pretty sure art is what remains in History stream, I’ll be in trouble defining design. First of all, it’s a really inflated word.
Right now, my idea of design is related to creative concepts, which were a total innovation during the 20s, 30s, 40s and that are now coming back. I like trying to understand those years, when designing an external elevator was mad. Nowadays, there are very few people who can be called designer.
What’s the trend you’re waiting for the most? And what do you thing about Ultraviolet?
As far as trend are concerned, I would be seriously curious to know if there is going to be a revival of decorative and applied art. Now craftmanship has increasingly spreading among the companies, but what about decorative arts? Do they are going to be a trend again?
The Ultraviolet, instead, is one of my favourite colour together with orange and Celadon green.
>> talking of Ultraviolet, have a look at the MOODBOARD!
describe an object your particularly affectioned to.
There always the colours: I got a little collection of plain colour glass vases (little, because they should stay inside a little cupboard, but now it’s acutally full). I love finding a connection among the different colours. It’s like a painting to me. I started randomly, but then it has become a real research of the perfect match among height, dimension and colours.
This is my light spot, it’s where I look to feel good.
How would you describe yourself and your job to a person who doesn’t know you?
I’m deeply curious and think that beauty is the best source of inspiration.
I’m appealed by the fortuitous inspiration, the strokes of genius and the curiosity. That’s what stimulates creativity (and if you please, Italians are a step further).
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