June 2014

Journey to the Home of Bellini

This month I am delighted to be able to share with you my journey to the home of Bellini in Naples, Italy. It was a fascinating week of new discoveries thanks to a behind the scenes view of the meticulous detail and care that goes into the making of Bellini Fine Moulding.

During my visit I saw every step of the manufacturing process from design inception through to the end product.  I was privileged to not only see how the product is made but to also get hands on during various steps of the production process, including leafing, which is an incredibly delicate procedure. 

I spent time at the gesso factory where I was impressed and amazed by the number of passes involved in perfecting the gesso quality.  I saw how the pasta was sourced, mixed and applied to moulding lengths and how manual sanding during the gesso application process eliminates inconsistencies.  Stringent quality control is applied here in this factory delivering a consistent and perfect finish.  I also saw the new machinery used to apply olive veneer to raw moulding.  To see the raw veneer applied to moulding and then treated to its final finish was brilliant to watch.

I then headed to another factory where the profiling wheels are produced and again it was incredible to see the manufacturing stages from the design of the wheel to the end product.  It takes around 3 weeks to design and manufacture every new wheel.

During my time in Naples I visited some traditional custom framers which gave me a fantastic insight into their operations, the materials used and the current trends.  It was interesting to see some of the stacking combinations these framers use. The craftsmanship, the care, and the passion is so evident throughout the industry. It was fascinating to also visit some small boutique framers in Rome who have diversified their offering into furniture restoration and gilding.  Overall the quality of the framing presentation was exceptional and is achieved through simplistic, tasteful design.