Disegno Legno correctly translates into English as ‘I design Wood’, or ‘I design in Wood’; but in Italian the words have their own poetry and rhythm. In a way, the name of my company informs both me and my work.
My name is Emiliano Giovannotti. I am a Roman; born in the Eternal City and I live here. Ever since I was a little boy looking at my father’s work with wood I have had the same love of the craft as he had – and still has.
English people often think of Italians as being passionate, and often excitable. I am generally calm but I do get excited by my wonderful wife and child – and almost as often by bits of wood that I just somehow know I can turn into something that is both beautiful and meaningful; something that makes a picture that I hope will make new owners of my works happy to see in their own homes.
When we look at any work of art in any form it changes our mood; perhaps even our perception of how nice a day it is – or isn’t. As you will have seen, my works are not uniform in style. Some are deeply passionate, others gentle and calming. Some represent my appreciation for great works by great artists, putting their works into a slightly different context from our usual perception. What makes them differ is the wood itself: the wood informs my imagination and, as if it did so itself, it uses my skill to make itself into its own picture.
The works are therefore to be considered as an art form, not a craft; though if there were no true craftsmanship it would be impossible to realise the works, each of which begins with something that I have seen or something in my imagination. As you’ll see from the pictures of my works, some of which I completed long ago, there is no strict theme, no uniformity of style. The wood and its figure both inspire and somehow make the work.
As you can gather, wood has always fascinated me – and still fascinates me. It is as if there were a bond between me and my wood. Every species of tree has its own way of growing, its knots, colours, notches; and above all, ‘figure’, which is the unrepeatable mix of shapes and colours that every single branch of every single tree always has. Like all humans and animals each is unique. And each can be used to portray itself as something other than just ‘wood’. Lighter coloured woods with less figure can be used to represent the sky but they can also be plain walls or buildings; or distant mountains. Only my imagination and understanding of the wood bring the work to reality. This part of my love affair with wood is perhaps the most difficult to express in words – but it does express itself in the completed work.
As well as works that I make from my own imagination, I also accept commissions to make works that are specifically requested by clients. For example, you might have a lovely house or garden that you would like to see replicated in wood; something to hang on your wall that reminds you not just of your house, but what it somehow ‘is’. Or you might want a representation of somewhere else that you have visited. I am not restricted to making pictures of my beloved city!
Everything is possible – well, almost everything. And whatever you ask me to make for you will get my usual obsessive attention to perfection in finish – and to the beauty of the finished article.
The website has my phone number as well as pictures of my works. If you want something from me, whether it is by commission or an ‘almost’ copy of an earlier work, just get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you – especially if you like my works! We all like praise for our work; it is a big part of what makes us happy. We all want to be happy; and I’ve found that people who buy my woodcuts as artworks often buy designs that remind them of happy times and/or places. Perhaps this might soon include you.