Last week I spent a couple of days in Florence exploring the city, it’s artisans and learning about a new luxury brand, Silia. Hosted by Silia and it’s founder, Ilaria Balduino Sartori, I was shown how the brand Silia is based on several important elements. Artisan skills, historical knowledge from local specialists combined with the modern forward thinking of Ilaria.
Silia creates luxurious accessories for the home. Most of their products are made with lucite, which is a very challenging material to work with, but all are finished by hand by expert craftsmen. The Lucite gives these pieces a modern stance. I love the fact that this modern material is being shaped and cut into pieces that are then finished by hand.
This was why I was shown around the artisan workshops, so that I could understand where the skills originated. It’s these centuries old skills that are used to craft and finish these pieces to ensure that they are of the highest quality possible. The result is exquisitely designed pieces that are very heavy and would be an absolute joy to own.
The factory near Florence is where a lot of these pieces are born. This place is a hive of activity and utilises high tech modern equipment. This piece of equipment below cuts out the shapes from large blocks of lucite, and it takes all night just to carve out the base of a Silia lamp. This shape then spends days with craftsmen who finish it off.
Silia is well known for its lamps, and this one was definitely my favourite.
A lot of innovation goes into these products. The lamp below is a great example. Two triangular shaped pieces of lucite are joined to create the rectangular lamp base. But the detail sits on one of those triangular shapes which has been hand chipped, smoothed and hand dipped into dye to graduate the colour. The other triangular piece is clear. When the two are put together, it creates a beautiful effect that looks like water droplets have been captured inside the lamp base.
I particularly liked the boxes, there are a few to choose from, starting with this one below that has a lid that’s reminiscent of a jewel’s facets.
The mosaic collection is a popular collection and I’m sure you can see why. These fun pieces add colour and a bit of fun to a room. The ice box is really beautiful, and a rather weighty piece, which makes it feel very special indeed. At the workshop we got to see the process of how these mosaic boxes were made.
Another gorgeous Silia lamp below.
Overall, I was very impressed by the level of attention that goes into each piece that is made by Silia. It’s often the case that luxury in today’s market means that you have a well known name stamped onto or sewn into a product that has been mass produced on the other side of the world. Silia do the exact opposite, these products are made in Italy, using treasured artisans and incorporating culture and experience into each product, and best of all, the people behind the brand live the Silia ethos passionately – that is true luxury.
Silia is currently looking to expand its network of interior designers and architects who they do a lot of bespoke work for. The brand retails through very select retailers too.