IN BOTTEGA: artisan commissions

IN BOTTEGA: artisan commissions

IN BOTTEGA connects artisans in the Oltrarno district of Florence with new clients through tours and other experience-based initiatives.

Wed 08 Jun 2022 2:52 PM

Commissions are a mainstay of work for many artisans in the Oltrarno. This proved to be a vital aspect of business for some during the pandemic. Drops in tourism were offset by projects and work from other channels. But one of the biggest challenges is connecting artisans with new clientele and increasing awareness among those seeking authentic artisanal creations. IN BOTTEGA was created to serve as a connector of artisans and the channels with which they partner. 

The inspiration: architectural detail at The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. In Bottega
The inspiration: architectural detail at The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu.
Duccio Hawaiian Mid-Century modern hook sketch - front view
The commission: in progress, three-dimensional sketches.

In recent years, many interior designers and architects have been met with increased demand for one-of-a-kind furnishings for clients. More and more, renovators are seeking unique and original pieces to express their personal style. Other sectors tapping Florentine artisans are antique dealers, museums and galleries. When faced with damaged, centuries-old picture frames or furniture, an expert restorer is vital. Renato Olivastri is a maestro of marquetry and wooden inlay techniques. In his shop at via dei Velluti 21R, there are typically several museum pieces in various stages of work. He often collaborates with other specialists in gilding and wooden sculpture to faithfully restore historical treasures. 

Duccio Banchi at his workbench.
Duccio Banchi at his workbench

Individuals with specific design concepts have also been able to connect with our artisans for private commissions. Sourcing quality original pieces cast in bronze or copper can be a challenge depending on where you live, but this is the specialty of Duccio Banchi, a master bronzesmith who is working on a commission with a client in Honolulu. Inspired by a design feature at the Honolulu airport, Duccio was tapped to create metal hooks and handles that capture the ethos of Hawaiian mid-century modern design.

I wanted something truly unique for my home and had a very specific example in mind. Working directly with an artisan to bring my ideas to life has been an exciting and rewarding endeavor!

– Teresa N. from Honolulu

IN BOTTEGA makes introductions to artisans that can help businesses and individuals further their search for the extraordinary. Thank you for supporting art and culture in Florence!

IN BOTTEGA is a privately funded organization dedicated to preserving art and culture in the Oltrarno district of Florence. If you’re interested in working directly with one of our artisans, please email

Related articles


Giovanni da Verrazzano

In search of the northwest passage


Uzbekistan: The Avant-garde in the Desert exhibition at Palazzo Pitti

Vivid colours and textile art come to the fore in the Andito degli Angiolini.