The shop is called Guarda Roba, which means both wardrobe and “watch stuff”, is created …
“Take life lightly, for lightness is not superficiality, but gliding above things, not having weights on your heart.“
My name is Silvia, I’ m 27 and I am native of Samassi, a small village in Sardinia, although I‘ve been living in Cagliari for several years. For about a year and a half, my partner Francesco and I created a little brand called “L’atlante dei Bottoni” (The Atlas of buttons). We take care of giving life to new and different materials, especially old paper, which are perceived by many people as trash, that is why they are usually thrown away, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and school books.
I always thought that my life’s work would have been in the historical archives, since years ago I dreamed of handling historical paper materials, and doing field research. I never thought that the way out of my impending degree in literature would be this. My passion for everything that concerns the past and the Italian language lead me to take this path now. It monopolizes all my time and gives me many satisfactions.
Where your passion / your work come from?
My passion and then my work comes out of this innate love which I feel for the past, and the way of understanding the world from people who lived in a different epoch, with eyes and a vision of things different from today.
When I happen to find definitions for words that are explained differently from our current vocabulary, or when I find words in our language that no longer exist I shudder, because it is a unique feeling and I’m so happy. I also hope that I am able to convey this feeling to all who see my work.
Another important aspect is the love I have for the Italian language, and what it represents to me that is often abused and used in a wrong way. My intention is precisely placing it at the heart, giving her the importance that it deserves. During the various exhibitions I meet people who understand my art, who are passionate and read with pleasure what is inside the various accessories. I am happy because in that moment I feel I’ve reached my goal.
Your most important achievement so far.
My biggest goal is to be able to turn one passion into a real job, I know it’s a privilege and I’m immensely proud of it. Luckily so far I have not had great disappointment. The only small exception would be when I realize that people find it hard to see the difference between craft-trade and industrial products, therefore they can’t really appreciate all that is behind the uniqueness of a product made manually by a person.
Where do you produce?
I produce at home. I use a room as laboratory, and I often lock myself in for hours, listening a lot of music, writing, designing and slowly the ideas crop up. Sometimes I go to flea markets where oftentimes I find very often inspiration and materials that I can used for my works.
Do you have a kind of mantra to help you through rough times?
Not exactly. I have a quite particular character, I would say that I can handle myself better when in difficulty and under pressure. It may seem strange, but for me it was always been like this. Difficulties make me more productive, so much that on days when nothing seems to go in the right direction, in my opinion I can create the most beautiful pieces of my collections. In those moments, however, I tell myself that “It can be definitely worse than that” and then I see everything in a lighter and more approachable way.
My project is to grow more and more, to continue to evolve and improve in every aspect and detail. Finding new ideas to develop and succeed in bringing our work beyond the boundaries of Sardinia. Last year we were able to participate at the International Handicrafts Trade Fair in Florence: we hope to have more of such experiences, because besides being really satisfactory, they are also a good way to keep an open mind and to meet different and exciting people.
How to face life and work?
Calmly and above all keeping in touch with reality. I am aware that as things can be great one moment, they can suddenly change for the worse. However, continued effort must be required and it’s important to give consistency to things in order to retain a balance.
There is a phrase from Italo Calvino (an important italian writer) that could answer this question perfectly: “Take life lightly, for lightness is not superficiality, but gliding above things, not having weights on your heart“.