Six makers of Florence

Thriving creativity in Renaissance city

Helen Farrell
December 30, 2019 - 11:47

We preface this piece with an apologia. Florence thrives with creativity and artisans are found all over the show; it would be impossible to mention everyone. Here are six international makers who have sparked our attention.
(If you’re a “crafty” type, tell us what you’re up to: [email protected])




1/ Kathaline Page-Guth jeweller




Born to Hungarian and American parents, Kathaline Page-Guth grew up in Geneva. After five years as an art director at a Milanese advertising agency, she eventually took the plunge, went freelance and moved to Florence: “A city with inspirations and cultural contaminations around every corner; it was a real turning point in my career.” Having learned the art of high jewellery making from Simone Rucellai and studied at the Gemological Institute of America, Kathaline’s aristocratic limited-edition creations are inspired by the multi-faceted vitality of the female experience.
Her gems were displayed in late November at the decadent Palazzo del Marchese di Camugliano around the corner from our offices.

@kathalinepageguth /




2 / Dom Behan leather bag designer




Fresh out of Falmouth University and following a few monotonous months doing factory work, Dom Behan impressed us with his initiative as he rocked up in our offices not once but twice to present his original leather bag designs. “I came with the intention of not returning to the UK as well as a lot of spirit to start a brand. I felt learning how to produce leather goods would be something to add to my design repertoire, and Florence seemed like the place to achieve this.” His designs take inspiration from Dirty Harry, the rebellious, plays by no-one else’s rules detective. Dom’s only been in Florence for a month, but he’s one to watch in 2020.





3 / Yoko Shimizu jeweller




Tokyo-born contemporary jewellery maker Yoko Shimizu came onto our radar during filming for the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici news channel—the designer doubles up as the school’s jewellery design department supervisor. “How jewellery moves with, fits and reacts to the body is part of the inspiration behind my creations.” Yoko seeks simplicity and harmony, constructing one part at a time and pausing to see the effect on the body. The Arno is one source of inspiration, with its momentum and energy, while transformation is a theme that threads through the Japanese artisan’s necklaces in colored resin.




4 / Arianna Signorini photographer + graphic designer




An Italian photographer and graphic designer living the life in Florence after a spell in London, Arianna Signorini blends her palette of crafts to conjure up painterly-styled fine art portraits. Inspired by old master oil paintings (think Vermeer and Caravaggio), sitters have their faces added to opulent artworks in a stylishly unique product that’s a blend of visual arts and engineering. “I listen carefully and take back every detail a client shares with me and use my paintbrush of imagery to create an individualized and remarkable product for each person.” Arianna recently exhibited with Le Fil d’Or at Ditta Artigianale in via dello Sprone.

@annari.photoart /




5 / Patricia Silva book artist




Patricia Silva is a paper genius. She has a MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has been named as a master bookbinder in international awards and has exhibited her craft in the United States and Italy. When she’s not creating, she’s teaching. “At a time when the book is losing its dominant position as an information carrier, I wish to expose my students to the myriad of creative, aesthetic and conceptual possibilities available in book arts.” Learn from Patricia at a star book-making workshop on December 7 (3-6pm) at Cartavetra (via Maggio 64, Florence).





6 / Rachel Beagley fashion designer




New Kid founder Rachel Beagley’s collections are made by a hand-picked network of skilled craftsmen in and around Tuscany. Inspired by a love of pop culture, exotic textiles and handicrafts, and the clichéd reverence for an Italian sunset, Rachel aims to capture a bit of a naïve, yet wild sense of the world. The androgynous and fun footwear styles are brought to life in Italian leather with a focus on leather treatments such as stamping, embroidery and laser cutting. Swing by the New Kid store (via del Ghirlandaio 18, Florence) on December 5 for a festive aperitivo: “We have shoes and more...nice prices, snacks, booze and merriment!”

@newkidfootwear /

Support The Florentine

It’s time to support The Florentine. It was April 2005 when the first issue of The Florentine hit the presses. Little did the founders know what would lie ahead: 15+ years of a magazine that is loved and respected by readers all around the world. Distributed for free around Florence and to subscribers as far away as New York and Melbourne.
The Florentine always changes with the times—that’s our promise to you.

In recent years, we have improved the monthly print magazine, polished our newsletter, fed our hyperactive social media channels and explored innovative interactive platforms to be closer to you. Every day we receive emails from Florence lovers, expressing gratitude for the work we do. Which is why we have introduced a support page, so that you can pledge directly as a gesture of goodwill for our independent journalism.

Please consider making a donation to help us continue our coverage from this city we all love.

Donation Total: €20,00

more articles