Malta, where time has thousand shapes

Hurry up, we’re going back in time. Catch the very last flying horse, grab my hand and close your eyes. Take a breath and enjoy the change. We’re flying across the Mediterranean. The eyes are still closed but I guess you can feel the sun getting warmer, the air milder, the sea mumbling under your feet.

Where are we going? To Malta for the Mdina Medieval Festival (April 18th19th). I can’t wait to meeting elegant ladies, obscure alchemists, a fascinating falconer or busy artisans.

Photo taken from the Festival official website

For the next few days Mdina is an open air theatre: in every street, square and corner actors and performers play moments of a time that no longer exists but still seduces and attracts us.

I wonder why among the plenty ages that make our past, the Medieval time is the most represented? Is it for that chiaroscuro atmosphere – when the dark desperately fed the light of the day to come – or to exorcise the fear to look into the mirror and realize how similar we are, still hostages of skilled enchanters and persuasive bandits?

Photo taken by the website visitmalta.com
Photo taken by the website visitmalta.com

Maybe, we just like the colors, the drums,  the clothes, the armors, the shows, the lecturers and the parades. What I like the most is the typical poetic synthesis that makes of a few square meters workshop a world apart. I like the artisans with their fluid ability, the slow gesturing, their laconic way to wave the hand and say “whoever with some time and discipline cold do it”.

I also like when sounds, voices and perfumes mix up together and people coming from everywhere create an immense and mobile spiral that turns around itself, like an arabesque.

In this page of the time, torn and sewn together again with the thick wire of the bookbinder, we’ll be there too, in a typical Maltese stony workshop among our leather books, Medievalis journals, antique diaries, lapis, nibs and inks.

If you go to Mdina, we suggest to stop by

Andolfi Artisan Boutique

Mdina Gift Shop – St. Sophia Street

meet Roberto, take a break, taste a Maltese specialty or a small glass of local liquor.

Photos and workshop by “Andolfi Artisan Boutique”.

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To the pencil “devotees”

wooden lead pencil

Seldom if ever in this blog I’ve talked about the leather-bound products I deal with, nor have I reported the projects that I get from my customers. I wonder why. And yet, they are beautiful and original; they’re various and tell stories of small and big expectations and focus on the days coming. If I rewind the invisible wire that ties all these creations, I see a marvelous collage of people and places: churches, monasteries and old mansions, poets and artists, travelers and sailors, adventurers and thinkers, hurried tourists and peregrine, tales of unions, detachments and domestic biographers. I’ll tell about them, sooner or later.

This entire preamble to explain the last months spent far from this blog. Busy time indeed that Legatoria Koiné people and I spent together trying to give shape to a new product.

In our small collection of writing instrument an object was missing. A very special object in fact, especially dedicated to those we’ve affectionately called (being part of the group) the pencil “devotees”.

Hand made wooden lead pencil with conic holder, red juniper.
Hand made wooden lead pencil with conic holder, red juniper.

The pencil has always been part of the human history, changing its shape depending on the need: from high intellectual to more practical affairs.

Diving in the past, we’ve discovered the worthy profile of the Suisse naturalist and scientist Conrad Gesner, who, in his papers dated 1565, offered the first effective description of the pencil:” a piece of graphite in a wooden tube”. Naïf, ok. But wait… don’t miss the rest of the story. His words came right after the fortuitous discovering of a large deposit of high quality graphite in England. Using mineral stones to draw marks was in use since the dawn of time, but that latest graphite was extremely pure and made darker marks. On the other hand, it was brittle and soft. Gesner was the first who documented the convenience of placing it in wooden sticks instead of wrapped in strings. Persuading, isn’t it? From that moment on the “pencil” concept got a modern meaning and developed spontaneously and simultaneously around Europe and, a bit later overseas. A little big object with a huge potential. The pencil industry now includes a great number of important companies and brands from around the world.

Let’s come back to our lead pencil. Wood turned and hand waxed in Italy by expert hands, it’s very attractive due to the lack of any modern mechanism. How does it work? Easy: the lead is housed in a wooden conic holder that shows a longitudinal cut. Once the holder is in the main pencil body, the lead cannot move anymore. Pull out the conic holder to move or replace the lead, then reintroduce it in the pencil body again. Et voilà!

As one picture tells more than 1000 words..

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It comes in a beautiful gift box, equipped with an old style lead sharpener made of wood and sandpaper – we’re quite sure some of you already stumbled upon this special sharpener in the past, at school perhaps during the courses in art or drawings techniques.

It’s a perfect gift for those who love the old style writing instruments and for the pencil enthusiasts.

Available in three wood types: Beech wood, Cherry wood and Mahogany and four shapes, we’ve given to them grandiose names: Aida, Carmen, Figaro and Butterfly. Inside is a graphite lead, diameter 5.6 mm, Koh-i-noor that can be easily purchased in every stationery shop around the world. Each pencil carries our brand.

Photo gallery

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The wooden lead pencils are available here.

Aphorism

I do not believe that any peacock envies another peacock his tail, because every peacock is persuaded that his own tail is the finest in the world.

The consequence of this is that peacocks are peaceable birds“.

Bertrand Russel

Rose& Light blue marble papers, peacock effect
Rose & Light blue marble papers, peacock tail effect (click on the picture to visit the website, otherwise enjoy the colors of these amazing hand decorated papers)

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