We have been planning for a while to start a series where we share insights into the work with those worldbest craftsmen and artists who ennoble our products with their talent. Due to the occasion we start with the great Italian master.

Italian Maestro Firmo Fracassi immortalizes his talent on the panther medaillon

“The panther”, central motif on the magazine plate, was one of the last works of the Grand Master of Bulino, Firmo Fracassi, world-renowned for his stunning miniature engravings, unmatched in detail, with a fascinating play of depth, light and shadow that blow the observer away with their photo-realistic effect.

Daniela Fanzoj recalls:
„I fondly remember the afternoon where we all sat in their little studio in the Fracassi home in Gardone and lively exchanged thoughts about our work for hours. It was in May 2022 and I had driven to Italy to take delivery of the precious panther medaillon. We had admired Firmo’s mesmerizing interpretation of a black panther on a knife before and could win him to collaborate on this rifle project.
Firmo (at the age of 83) was bruised from a recent bicycle accident (!) , where he accompanied his daughter Francesca who was training for a mountain run, and fell. I was full of admiration of the strong family ties, the love for nature, the passion and continuous strive for perfection in his work.
With a bit of a smile he complied to my request to engrave his initials on the back of the rock-hard white-gold plate with the fabulous panther image. I swore we would never work with this white-gold alloy again.
The following is a personal reflection of Firmo on this work, which I hold very dearly. Franscesca send me this letter following our request and sincere interest to hear from his own lips, what continuously drives him to pursue his work to such levels of mastery. This is what he said:

I use an ancient tool called burin. My tecnique is a mixed technique made up of lines, points and hatches according to the result I want to obtain and represent. This technique allows me to obtain more precision in the effects of light and shadow, to soften the edges and to achieve all shades of gray up to absolute black.
In our work there is a careful study of anatomy, nature, perspective and light. Our intent is to make the scene as simple and realistic as possible.
Once the iconographic research has been carried out, always laborious, the most suitable subject is chosen, also based on the shape of the object and its outline is drawn in pencil on the steel. Then you go over it improving it as much as possible. The definitive marking is done with the burin.
In this preliminary phase it is necessary to decide the perspective and the light point which is crucial to give depth and bring out the subjects that you want to engrave.
A lot of concentration is required at the beginning of the work because you have to better define the design. Then it goes on more simply, so to speak, because everything is clear in the mind. Of course, the engraving of some details requires more effort than others. However, the commitment must be constant to obtain a good result. Age and maturity lead to more experience.
I am in love with my work I always have the passion of a boy and the desire to express myself in ever new works that can communicate the sense of beauty, that can continue to live on in well-made objects as evidence of a well-spent working life.

Firmo Fracassi lives on thru his work, and thru his daughter Francesca who has inherited his talent. Thank you for giving us “the panther”.

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