The sky seems to be made of paper, the intense blue of certain winter days is cut by the white clouds and mountains of an early morning. Out of this dreamy vision, the artisanal knives made entirely handmade by Cartadelcielo were created. “I strongly believe in the past and present connection between man and” what “is outside our planet – says Francesco Coia, founder of the project – I was trying to think of a name, after days of mental turmoil, I decided to change my approach and I went to a pile of books that I had on the table, took the first one and opened it without looking. The book was an advanced astrology manual and the page was the beginning of the chapter on the Sky Chart. This was perfect. ” Cartadelcielo! These artisanal knives are available in the store of Magic Mountain Collective.
How did your passion for creation and crafting of knives come about and how is it linked to your passion for the mountains?
«The fascination for knives has always been with me, since I was little and it was born in the mountains. For as long as I can remember, the object that most fascinated me in the windows of Courmayeur were precisely the knives. I also remember very well the insistence with which I asked my father to buy me one every time. I also remember the hours spent alone in the woods with the first Swiss pocket knives carving sticks. To me somehow this was an unconscious but spontaneous form of meditation».
How would you describe the knife as an object and the fascination it exerts on you?
«I believe that the knife has an almost archetypal power of fascination over me, even if it is something that I find in almost everyone with whom I find myself talking about the subject. I am convinced that it has to do with the fact that it was one of the first (if not the first) tool that man made. Since the dawn of time, it has united people, not only on a practical level, for survival and sustenance, but also on a spiritual and ritual level. Knives forged with metal from meteorites were found, making this tool not only something that unites us, here on our planet, but something that gives us the idea of an ancient relationship of the humans and the universe».
How do you work technically and what materials do you use?
«My knives are mainly made of carbon steel, a steel with no chromium in the alloy. (the element that allows stainless steel to be stainless). This is for two main reasons: the first is that carbon steel gives excellent technical performance and is very simple to sharpen, the second is that being subject to oxidation and rust if not properly cared for, it creates a relationship of great awareness and attention, between the knife. and it’s owner. An attitude that we lost thanks to the buy-use-throw-buy society in which we live. The process of crafting the knife, is divided into many stages, there is shaping, the heat treatment, sanding, and many intermediate stages that require a lot of time, patience and concentration».
Are photography and the mountains an inspiration to you, in your artistic expression of crafting knives?
«My “main” job is just that, I’m a photographer and director of photography. Working in advertising it is very difficult to really put your inspiration without compromise into a project, instead in those of a more personal nature, especially in still life photography, the “element” of the mountain is always more or less present».
Which mountains are you most attached to and for what reasons?
«I grew up in the presence of Mont Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses. My great-grandfather, Giovanni Battista Gilberti (also known by the diminutive of Titta, was a great mountaineer who in 1936 with the mountain guide Eliseo Croux made the first complete ascent of the majestic and coveted Tronchey ridge on the Grandes Jorasses) He was the main pioneer to the development of Courmayeur as a ski and tourist destination, he was the owner of the cable cars. And he was a mountaineer and great skier. Since childhood I visited those valleys. I have a very deep, extremely profound bond with Courmayeur and its surroundings».
Written by Guido Andruetto