Florence has an association of artisans, OmA, that awards up and coming artisans various awards and recognition every year. I follow their yearly announcements as it’s a great way to find new, and noteworthy artists. I also enjoy buying things from small, family run businesses so it’s also an amazing way to stay in touch with that traditional artisan pulse there is in Florence. That is precisely how I found Cecilia Falciai Decorazioni.
I visited her shop, just down the street from Santa Croce and was met with a warm smile. Cecilia is soft spoken but wonderfully open, she was happy to explain her whole process, let me look around and answer my numerous questions. When I walked in she was working on a commission and her hands were stained with white and other colors of scagliola (explained below). I loved this about her right away, she is an artisan who has her hands in everything she does. Each object is crafted entirely by her, right there in her Florence workshop.
Who are you and where do you live?
My name is Cecilia Falciai and I live and am from Florence.
Why do you do, what you do?
I love to create things and I also fell in love with the scagliola technique. I also come from a family of artists, my dad is also an artisan and the one who got me interested in mosaics and decorative arts.
Explain a little bit about your work.
I make decorative objects using the traditional mosaic technique that uses precious stone and marble. I also make objects using the scagliola technique. Scagliola done using a composite of all natural materials (stone powder and a type of glue) and then laying it down in layers in a previously hand etched surface, letting in dry and then sanding it down so it’s flat. It’s a very interesting technique because it’s still using stone but it’s a liquid and very open to interpretation. There are always variations in color and it’s fascinating to see how the finished piece turns out.
I also can do pet portraits in scagliola [editor note: these are truly amazing] and can turn them around quick if you’re staying in Florence for a few days.
I also make jewelry [editor: check out my earrings in the pic below – only 15 euro!), table tops, decorative objects for your home and much more.
What’s your biggest inspiration
That would be my dad, he did this work long before me. He worked with mosaics mostly and I am also doing scagliola but he was my first teacher.
How can someone order from you?
You can order by visiting by my website but really it’s best if you come to my shop in Florence. I love having people come into my shop so I can show them the technique [editor note: she has a really cool object where you can see each stage of the scagliola process!] and talk to people to get a feel for what they might like.
If you’re in Florence and want to experience true Florentine artisan craftsmanship, don’t hesitate to stop in to see Cecilia. It’s a great place for souvenirs as well, as many objects are under 20-30 euro. You can also commission a pet portrait for 60 euro (done in Scagliola), which is such a thoughtful and beautiful gift. Cecilia loves guests and will welcome you as if you’re seeing an old friend. Don’t miss a great opportunity to see what Florence really is made of: the artisans!
Visit her in her shop:
Via De’ Macci 25/r Firenze (just off the side of Santa Croce church)
Monday-Friday 930am-6:00pm and occasional Saturdays by request. (Until Christmas she’s also open afternoons on Saturday and Sunday)
+39 347 258 0357