Double Signature. A dialogue between design and artisanal excellence

Jan Plecháč - Henry Wielgus
Gianluca Pacchioni

Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus are spending the day at the Milan-based studio of Gianluca Pacchioni, the celebrated metal sculptor and master craftsman. 
The Czech designers are instantly captivated as they tour the place, a former eye-drop factory from the 1930’s with soaring ceilings. It’s a metal forge, an artist’s atelier, a gallery and living quarters all opening onto a courtyard, and Plecháč admits to feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland. In a short time, Pacchioni can see that Plecháč and Wielgus have deep respect for the materials he works with, and once they settle in to talk, they fairly quickly determine that they will do a project that shows metal patina to fine advantage. “Gianluca is not only a craftsman but also an outstanding artist,” says Plecháč. He and Wielgus are clear that this cannot be the kind of collaboration where the artisan simply carries someone else’s design.

It’s the first time they have worked with an artist, he says, and they are grateful for the chance. Pacchioni too is in a new role in this collaboration. It’s the first time he’s crafting someone else’s idea and he welcomes it as a pleasure and a challenge. Besides, he says: “There will be the opportunity and the freedom to impress my sign, my personality on the project.” That evening Pacchioni treats Plecháč and Wielgus to a Milanese risotto and they proclaim him a great cook. “It’s been sort of a blind date,” Pacchioni jokes. “But no one has been disappointed: we have all marveled at each other, and a precious friendship was born.”

Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus
Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus first began to collaborate while students at AAAD in Prague. In 2012, they founded their Prague studio, seeking to transcend the barriers between art, architecture and design. The studio receives commissions for international galleries and brands such as Rossana Orlandi Gallery, Mint Shop, Luminaire, Lasvit, Cappellini and Menu. The studio is a frequent participant in exhibitions in Milan, Paris and London and has won several Elle Décor International Awards and Czech Grand Design Awards. Recent examples of its design work include a concept store and café, yellow zinc and white marble cabinets, and polygon pendant lighting inspired by the Czech glass tradition.
Gianluca Pacchioni
Gianluca Pacchioni is a renowned metal sculptor and a master metal artisan based in Milan. He creates sculptures and produces distinctive lighting and limited edition furniture for an international clientele. He constantly employs innovative techniques to work with iron, stainless steel, bronze, brass and aluminum, as well as liquid metals and patinas. He began to sculpt metals while living in Paris in the 1990s and soon moved back to Milan to found his studio. In 2014 one of his works went on permanent display in the entrance hall of the Italian Embassy in Paris as a symbol of Italian savoir-faire. In 2016 he was awarded the prestigious title of Master of Arts and Crafts MAM by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art.


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