once upon a time a piece of wood
2013. Work in progress.
Every day is an opportunity for us to improve and experiment with new aspects of our work. After all, in a craftsman’s workshop, work never stops.
In 2013, for example, in addition to opening the new shop in Tokyo, the first in Japan, we created our in-house newsletter, entitled Cronache dal Retrobottega (Chronicles from the Back Room): an instrument to inform and tell you about us, with simplicity and humility, to communicate better and express the daily passion we have for our work.
In the last few months we have also restructured our website to make it even more welcoming and to communicate the magic of the Bartolucci shops to everyone. Welcome, then, and enjoy your visit!
2012. The story continues
Among the many events that made 2012 stand out for us, mention must be made of the event in Dubai, where for ten days Francesco was a guest of the Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, on the occasion of the "Eid Al-Adha" Islamic festival. Over a million visitors admired the most characteristic Bartolucci creations, exhibited in an area of more than 25 metres in diameter. Francesco also exhibited his carving techniques three times a day, giving live demonstrations.
2012 was also the year of the beginning of the partnership with the Fondazione Nazionale Collodi (National Collodi Foundation), which aims at acknowledging the important role our company has had in spreading the values and culture of Pinocchio throughout the world.
2011. Thirty years... and it's not a "lie"!
Thirty years of activity are an important milestone, and so in the autumn of 2011, the company decided to celebrate by organizing a memorable event in Pesaro. A conference was held on the Bartolucci "model", inserted into the Archivio della Generatività of the Istituto Luigi Sturzo in Milan. At the same time a large exhibition was organised at Palazzo Gradari illustrating the stages of the business which began in 1936. In Via Rossini the shapes of the Carabinieri and the Talking Cricket looked out as if by magic, the Blue Fairy gave children locally-made snacks and the guest book was filled with the affectionate thoughts of many admirers: for a few days the whole town was infused with the happiness of Pinocchio and his friends.
2009-2010. Pinocchio and Bartolucci, an Italian story
On 1 and 2 November 2009 RAI 1 television network broadcast the Pinocchio television miniseries, which brought the adventures of the marionette created by Collodi back to the small screen, thirty-five years after the masterpiece by Luigi Comencini. In addition to making the marionette he designed, Francesco taught Bob Hoskins, who played the role of Geppetto, the rudiments of the art of carving and how to handle chisel and gouge.
In 2010 the license was awarded to produce Pinocchio, created by Oscar Tirelli for Luigi Comencini’s screenplay (1972), in a limited edition for collectors. That same year the company was included in the Archivio della Generatività , the story of an exemplary Italian company.
2009. The Friends
Michelle, wife of U.S. President Barack Obama, is one of the many admirers of the Bartolucci creations. Their daughters visited the store in Rome during the G8 summit in July 2009. Sasha and Malia received a gift of a Pinocchio and the book published by Bartolucci on the occasion of 25 years of activity; Michelle reciprocated by sending Francesco the seal of the White House in an unmistakable blue box from Tiffany and an autographed letter of thanks.
Other friends of Bartolucci creations include Valentino Rossi, Michelle Hunziker, Max Gazzè, Michail Schumacher, Anna Valle, Fiorello, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who often visit our shop in Rome
2007. The international market
In 2007 Mariagrazia Stocchi, having just joined the company as Managing Director, received the “Valore Donna International” ("International Woman of Value") award from the Committee for the Promotion of Women Entrepreneurs of the Chamber of Commerce of Pesaro to female entrepreneurs who have distinguished themselves in the internationalization of their business. This is an area in which Mariagrazia has always been particularly involved. That same year saw the opening of shops in Istanbul and Melbourne, among others.
Also in 2007, the Bartolucci company was included in the Eurispes report on the 100 Italian companies of excellence.
2006. Twenty five years together
In 2006, there was a great celebration in the village of Belvedere Fogliense to celebrate 25 years since the start of Francesco Bartolucci’s business. Employees, suppliers and friends gathered in the square in front of Geppetto’s shop, in the tiny hamlet where the Bartoluccis have their roots. An exhibition and the book “Teste di Legno. Storie di burattini e falegnami cocciuti” (Wooden Heads. Stories of puppets and stubborn carpenters) completed the important anniversary.
The opportunity arose to sell Francesco’s creations online: shortly thereafter the e-commerce section was in fact activated and the www.bartolucci.com website, first published in 2003, was redesigned.
2005. Pinocchio moves house
As the sales network expanded, so too the workshop was extended.
The original workshop was no longer big enough to house the production necessary for the many shops, and so Francesco decided to transfer part of the machinery to the artisan industrial area of Montecalvo in Foglia, at the bottom of the hill below Belvedere Fogliense. However, the heart of the company remained in Belvedere, and in via Parrocchiale, in the house that belonged to his ancestors, Francesco recreated the magic of Geppetto's workshop.
2002. The shop in Rome
Situated between piazza Colonna and the Pantheon, the first shop in Rome soon became the launch pad for Bartolucci’s creations, which, thanks also to the shop which opened at Fiumicino airport, soon became internationally famous.
Francesco was invited more and more often to television programmes of the RAI network as well as private television stations, where he very successfully presented Pinocchio and other characters from the world of Bartolucci.
1991-2000. The Bartolucci shops
The Bartolucci creations captured an increasing number of admirers, and the sales network grew throughout Italy. As with the small markets, Francesco started from his more familiar territory and expanded with foresight, choosing Art cities for his first Bartolucci shops, starting with Florence, where the shop is found in the refectory of the ancient church of Badia, a very prestigious space with great historical value.
The inaugurations continued, one per year, always with the presence of all the company employees, who also helped Francesco with the preparation of the shops.
1990. Urbino, the first shop
Building on the success achieved from markets and fairs, in 1990 Francesco understood that the time had arrived for him to offer his products in a shop. He chose Urbino for the opening of his first shop, very close to home, where every stone was steeped in history.
In short succession the shops in Gradara, Rimini, Florence followed, and then Venice, Loreto and Rome: soon Francesco and his Pinocchio would cross the frontiers of Italy.
1981. The first Pinocchio
Belvedere Fogliense, 1981. Francesco Bartolucci, son and nephew of woodworking craftsmen, created his first Pinocchio in a small workshop near his home, and decided to show it in town markets and patron saint festivities, which he travelled to in his blue Citroen Dyane.
Francesco carved his puppets in front of the people, ever more numerous and increasingly fascinated by his art. This great interest shown sparked his initial idea to start a business.
1936. Belvedere Fogliense, the genius loci
My father Matteo and his brothers Leopoldo, Ernesto and Silvio can be seen in this old photograph. They were simple folk, good workers with big hands like mine. I am proud to be like them: their blood is in my veins and my hands are their hands (Francesco Bartolucci).
Belvedere Fogliense (the ancient Montelevecchie) is a small hamlet of Tavullia, perched on a hill between the Marche and Romagna. A village of the past, where life flows calmly and where, from its walls, one can savour the charm of a landscape that touches the soul. It was here, in 1936, that the Bartolucci story was born, and it is here that the Bartolucci family has chosen to keep the heart of its business.
A daily commitment, dedication to hard work, attention to the social well being of the area, respect for the environment, attention to human relations, stimulus for creativity: these are the values that that have always been at the heart of our company.
We are committed to on-going research for quality, echoing the great Italian tradition of art in carpentry and carving, in order to produce unique and original pieces that can bring the magic of wood into every home.
"Chronicles from the backroom",
the Bartolucci in-house newsletter
“Chronicles from the backroom” is the name of our in-house newsletter. Created from our love for our work and to communicate what is happening in the company, from important events to the small things that mark our daily life such as births, weddings, retirements. It gives a voice to that area of work, the backroom, that is not always easy to see, but is at the heart of the company, where we exchange information, and ideas and projects are born.
The Bartolucci family
Since 1936 the Bartolucci family have been involved in the working of wood. In that year the four brothers founded a small accordion factory in Belvedere Fogliense, which was operational until the Fifties.
In 1981 Francesco returned to the family tradition, carving his first marionette: he drew on his father Matteo’s wealth of experience and very soon his sisters Chiara and Anna Maria also joined them. They all still work together in the company.
Francesco’s wife Mariagrazia Stocchi also joined the team and since 2007 she has been the managing director of the company. Their children Giovanni and Maria, and son-in-law Marco also work in the company.
Bartolucci Francesco Srl production
Wood is our “material”! A living material from which we create unique, valued items, filled with emotion: objects to be given as gifts and as collector’s items, furnishing accessories or toys, all strictly Made in Italy. Each object is created from an original design and is finished off by hand in a process that has up to an average of ten workings. We use wood from FSC certified plantations and paints that comply with European standards, in-keeping with environmental and social sustainability. Bartolucci creations are delightful and offer emotions, they are made to last in time.
Who is Bartolucci Francesco Srl
From Francesco’s initial intuition, Bartolucci as a company developed into a limited liability company employing 32 people with a modern management. At present the production premises are in the production area of Montecalvo in Foglia, where traditional workmanship is integrated with the use of new technologies. A showroom for agents has also been set up recently.
The sales network comprises the shop in Urbino, managed directly by the company, and ten “shops” managed by the sister company Bartolucci Italy srl, over one hundred authorized dealers, consisting of single brand shops and sales corners, throughout Italy and abroad.
Pinocchio by Francesco Bartolucci
As obstinate as Geppetto and starting from the “same” piece of wood, Francesco has “carved” his dream, creating the Bartolucci reality.
Like Pinocchio, who had to overcome many difficulties in order to grow up, since 1981 Francesco has had to face many challenges linked to the creation of a company.
A very close link developed between the famous marionette and the “woodcarver from Belvedere”, which was to be a constant source of inspiration and the characters invented by Collodi are often portrayed in Francesco’s original designs.
The Collodi Foundation
In 2012, the
Fondazione Nazionale Collodi, (Collodi National Foundation), a no-profit organisation that promotes the wellbeing of children and works for children starting from The Adventures of Pinocchio, chose Bartolucci as its partner.
Inside the “Parco di Pinocchio” (Pinocchio’s Park) in Collodi, Francesco has set up a much appreciated Geppetto’s workshop, recreating, with vintage tools and objects, the atmosphere of a master craftsman’s workshop between the 19th and 20th centuries. For the Foundation Bartolucci has created a line of products inspired by Pinocchio, identified by a holographic sticker guaranteeing the exclusive and original nature of the product.
Who is Pinocchio
“Once upon a time there was... a King! - my little readers will say straight away. No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood”. These are the opening lines of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Collodi (born Carlo Lorenzini). The book first appeared in print as a serial in 1881 in the children’s newspaper “Giornale dei Bambini” in Florence. In 1883 the first edition was printed in book form, followed shortly thereafter by many translations (to date there have been approximately 250). Since then the story of the little wooden marionette and the nasty people he meets, mistakes he makes and his final redemption by becoming a real little boy, has been an on-going success, and Pinocchio has been the subject of many films, cartoons, plays and performances of all kinds, he is definitely one of the
great characters in literature.
Pinocchio and Bartolucci, together in the world
From Tokyo to Dubai, from Madrid to Jakarta, Pinocchio and Francesco have really travelled throughout the world, taking with them some of the coloured magic of the Bartolucci creations.
They have been guests of TV programmes, documentaries, international events, where the focus has always been on a live-show of carving, the moment in which wood comes to life thanks to Francesco’s expert artistry.
With a smile, Pinocchio knows how to overcome the differences between the cultures and is welcomed with great enthusiasm by children throughout the world, be they visitors at Dubai Mall or guests of the Mangetti Dune Orphanage in Namibia, the unspoilt land of the Bushmen, where Bartolucci has a solidarity project.
Pinocchio brings happiness and touches the hearts of people everywhere!!
In agreement with the owners of the trade name of the marionette created by Oscar Tirelli and used for the TV film directed by Luigi Comencini in 1972, as from 2010 Bartolucci manufactures replicas in limited edition for collectors of this beautiful version of Pinocchio.
I was 13 when I started being a carpenter, in this small shop, in this small village between Marche and Romagna. I loved doing this type of work, but I was sad because the sun never reached this room. And so in the morning I would put many small pieces of mirror outside so they could reflect the sunrays. I still remember those strips of light that lit up the wood dust hanging in the air. I have become “old”, and now I work in a big laboratory full of light, I have a dream … I wish that the objects I make could bring, like in the past, small rays of sunlight into your homes.
The puppet named Pinocchio
The tools inside the workshop
Our creations are the result of ancient traditions: gestures and tools that are passed down from generation to generation, with a craftsmanship that still today inspires all phases of work.
Francesco Bartolucci explains the use of the most important tools found in a carpenter’s workshop.
“The hands are the carpenter’s first tools. They create art in time, through trial and error, caressing and getting to know the wood. I started working with the uncertain hands of a child, I now have rough, sure hands.. and what’s more, I still have all my fingers, a rarity among carpenters!”
watch the video
“This is used to cut the wood, it must be sharp and straight. The sharpening is the offset to the side of the teeth of the blade, if done well it allows for a perfect cut. The saw is the main instrument used to obtain Pinocchio’s nose”.
watch the video
“Among the most important tools of the carpenter, we find the hammer.
I can find a variety of shapes and sizes, from the hammer with iron head, the wooden hammer, until you reach the wooden mallet.
It is used not only to beat nails, but especially to engravings and decorations creating pressure on other work tools”.
watch the video
“Pinocchio’s body owes much to the planer, as this rough-shapes and smooths out the wood thanks to a very sharp blade, perfect finishing and lots and lots of elbow grease. It is one of the oldest tools, pictured also in hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt”.
watch the video
The chisel and gouge
“These are the most important tools. The carpenter’s hand guides them following the veining of the wood, perceiving any changes. The blade must always be in excellent shape, it must be sharpened by rubbing on a piece of leather, like the barber does with his razor”. The chisel and gouge are used to shape Pinocchio’s arms and legs, and “draw” his smile.
watch the video
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