We love Ikea as much as the next person, but there’s nothing quite like handcrafted furniture made with care and detail. One look at the designs of Alberto Carloni, TV producer at JWT Italy, brings on the temptation to completely redecorate the house. Each piece of furniture he has built, be it a bookshelf or a table, showcases his craftsmanship, which is why Alberto is the latest feature in our Worldmade Gallery Artist Spotlight Series.
Alberto spoke to us about how his love for woodworking came to be, and his quality-over-quantity approach to building. Look through some of his work and read our conversation below:
Tell us about how you got started on furniture building.
I’ve always loved woodworking, ever since I was a child. I started playing with small toys, but I really began to build furniture during the restoration of my country house, in the middle of nowhere, 15 years ago. Up there it’s quite difficult to find people who can work for you, so DIY was the only solution.
What makes your pieces unique?
All my projects are tailored to the style and dimension provided by the client. Even if you can find something similar in stores, the dimensions, materials, details and construction techniques are different from what you might be looking for. My pieces are all made from real wood, even if it has to be covered by paint; they are never made from laminated board or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) like in industrial furniture production.
How do you find the time to work on such large-scale creations?
That’s the big question; I have free time on the weekends, but that’s not enough time to make many pieces. But for me this is not a job; it is a pleasure to dedicate time to the attention and precision I put in my furniture.
What kind of material do you use?
I only buy timber from sellers who respect the rules on wood importation from other countries, and I never buy protected and prohibited species.
For finishing I use only water-based paint and varnish.
Oak, walnut, maple, beech and cherry are the kinds of wood I use more, often mixing two of them to obtain a color contrast.
Who or what are you influenced by?
My two grandfathers were respectively a carpenter and a cabinetmaker, so probably something “genetic” arrived to me.
The style influence is probably due to studies in architecture, travels in many countries and a lot of work alongside set designers, but, most of all, due to the passion and curiosity to discover new styles, while never forgetting the history of classic furniture.
Milan as a city is known as a fashion and design capital of the world. What are your favorite things about living there?
Milan is also the best Italian city to work in advertising, so the combination of this aspect with the ones you’ve mentioned makes this city perfect for me.