At OIKOS “Festa del Falegname”, among the protagonists, we had the pleasure to see a gondola that gained itself an entire room, thanks to El Felze association.
A gondola is entirely hand-crafted by high-specialized artisans. Here are the crafts that contribute to the making of the Venetian boat.
Carpenters specialized in the building of wooden boats; they take their name from the squèro, a typical construction site of wooden boats.
Carpenters specialized in the production of oars and fòrcole (oarlock), the fulcrum to the hull propulsion. In Venice, they have been gathered in a corporation since 1307.
The creators of metallic decorations as canòni, containers for the flowers or for the light, set at the head of the gondola; feràl, the prow light, the decorations for the upper part of the stern blade. Fondidòri and ottonài are in particular well-known for the cavài, a couple of seahorses symmetrically decorating the central part of the sides of gondola.
Smiths and forgers of the dolphin (prow iron) and other steels. The dolphin is today made of inox or aluminium alloy; the sophistication of the smith consists in the taper, that brings the thickness of the iron from 18 to 0 millimeters.
Engravers of the chiselable structures, they intervene in the finishing and decoration of the gondola. The work of the engraver confer mostly the nature of boat destined to pleasure and beauty.
Battiloro and Indoradòri
The first transform gold into thin leaves to be applied on decorations by the later. With the engravers, they intervene in the finishing and decorating phase, to a greater extent based on how luxurious the gondola is. The gold-plating requests a technique that considers the salt of the laguna: “doratura a mordente” (gold-plating with mordant).
Upholsterers, executors of the cushions, they arrange the furniture for the parècio, destined to passengers. The upholsterer makes the sentàr comfortable and decorates as well. In ancient time, the richness of the cushions stated the prestige of the casada.
Hatmakers of the hats for the gondolier. The hat is relatively recent, because today’s gondolier is a figure born around the Seventies of last century, while previously a sober clothing was prescribed.
Shoemakers creators of special shoes for the gondolier. Specialized in the production of shoes with a soft sole, suitable for saving one’s back, and on measure. Ideated for the Venetians, was then adopted by the gondolier.
Tailors that sew the clothes of the gondolier following the modern specialization of the figure: straw-hat, striped t-shirt, marinèra, black pants, black silk belt. While the t-shirts are industrially made, the rest is hand-made.