There’s not many people know this, but bang in the centre of today’s Rome there’s still a tiny workshop where the same family has been plying the same skills for nearly 85 years. Only since 1961 at their present address in Via del Leoncino, mind you. The name of the family is Gualdani, and their trade is making lampshades, mostly to order. Three generations’ worth of exquisitely hand-made shades have come out of this singular bottega, each one unique. Some of those on show are uniquely horrendous, frankly, but the problem isn’t in the workmanship.
Whatever your fancy and requirements, the Gualdanis can do it, availing themselves of uncommon proficiency with a whole gamut of materials and techniques, from stitched parchment through plissé and classic fabrics to more contemporary lines. Now try telling me that’s not worth knowing. They trade in lamps too at L.A.R., where some of the finished shades are displayed on a range of supports, likewise hand-crafted in pot, wood, iron, brass or bronze by selected brother artisans.