A collection of making
Technical objects represent the relationship between human creativity and expression tools.
They stimulate the dialogue between the past and the present, reminding us of our material culture. Since 1953 the Edoardo Negroni workshop creates tools for the serial production of engraved or modelled artefacts, usually with bas-relief design, for goldsmithing and silverware industries that produce fashion accessories, small decorative elements, and pieces of furniture. Today, the workshop’s artefacts collection is a precious source of inspiration for specialists and enthusiasts who wish to discover or further explore the craft of artistic engraving and the history of some types of machinery.
The archive consists of a heritage of about 1500 drawings and photos, 600 hand-chiseled models and bronze castings, 800 chalk and resin molds, 2700 matrices and hundreds of tools, mostly created by hand and through traditional methods. Moreover, samples of thousands of custom-made objects, today stored in numbered boards, collections and compilations are in the process of being stored. The eye-catcher for the wide stretch of punches for hammering decors, stored in the various drawers, is the image that best sums up the seventy year long activity.
from drawing to artefact
rolling mill pattern rollers
These are the interchangeable parts in a rolling mill, used to cold-press metal bands through the passage between two rollers, in order to obtain decorative and contoured effects, either geometrical or graphic, which today become original and sophisticated textures.
The rolls are also mounted on edge border machines, to achieve convex or concave edges, such as the ones on cups and chalices. The production of these cylindrical matrices resulted in long lists of drawings, stored and rearranged in the catalog’s tables.
It’s the drawing-based handmade tool, used by chiselers, goldsmiths and engravers to create their works. Two types of punches have been stored: basic shapes, interpreted in hundreds of forms and sizes, and decoration punches, fundamental for the creation of matrices, molds and cylinders.
The archive reveals old models, entirely sketched and hand finished by Edoardo Negroni, as well as punches obtained through a pantograph from chiseled samples, together with more recent ones, reprocessed through a combination of cnc precision milling and manual finishing.
Leaves, flowers, petals, wreaths, curls, beads, twists, geometries and symbols of classic or imaginary aesthetics. The punches show an accumulation of signs and variations that today still fascinates and stimulates every observer’s creativity, from the specialists to the enthusiasts.
Molds and metal plaquettes
As specialized engravers, Edoardo Negroni’s has accompanied, since the end of the 60s to the 80s, small and medium Brianza companies from automobiles and home appliances fields, in the production of molds and plaquettes under commissions. In collaboration with other craftsmen, the workshop created finely decorated parts to be inserted in more complex productive tools.
These are complex tools, made by custom design, used to obtain pierced metal bands or components through their passage under a press. The thinner the metal sheet is, the more delicate and wider the pierced holes are, and the more complex the production of the die cutter. The archive stores such fine and precise fretworks they resemble gold and silver laces. Edoardo Negroni further explores the method of progressive die cutter, drawing inspiration for instance from the artefacts sold by the Parisian établissement Alfred Joliot, small components for a luxurious “costume jewellery”, reaching with his fame the once flourishing jewelry district of Providence, Rhode Island (US).
The manufacture district for jewellery and silversmithing in Providence has been one of the most thriving in the US since the end of the last century to the end of the 90s. There is not much left of this story, but one of the main companies, Salvadore Tool & Findings, loyal customer of Edoardo Negroni’s, still exists. Out of almost 10.000 artefacts in the catalogue, several hundreds have been created by the Attrezzeria Negroni’s workshop.