I arrived at Villa Salinara in Marsala, Sicily in the winter of 2018 as the lone apprentice carpenter to help with the restoration of this beautiful building from the 1700’s.
The owner Antonio, a product designer from Rome, and I proceeded to go around the villa pointing at and picking projects at will for the next few months. I had never ever worked with wood in a professional capacity, so I began from absolute scratch.
My journey with woodworking started with scraping and sanding the varnish off old chairs.
I built adjustable reclining sunbathing beds designed by Antonio out of pine wood and stained them.
After building about 5 of them , I became prolific and obsessed, making one a day.
Eventually, I gained enough confidence to design and build a cabinet by myself for one of the kitchens in the Villa.
This became my first “commissioned” piece.
It was extremely important to me and the owners that it felt handmade, rustic, appropriate,
And that it felt like it belonged there, like it had always been there,
Before my arrival and long after my departure.
Soon after, I began digging into the storage sheds at the Villa and found old floor boards & roofing panels.
Recycled panel doors for coves that housed the air conditioning units.
Recycled panel doors for the cove that housed the outdoor washing machine.
Box storage cabinet designed also to function as a step up to a high cot.
Bottom box built with store bought pine wood panels, stained and weathered to look aged.
Top/Lid, shaped and built with recycled/abandoned window found in the storage shed.
All the metal fixtures were also salvaged from the storage shed. They were all victims of renovations.
I went on a spree building storage coves and ledges with salvaged drawers, doors and miscellaneous bits and pieces.
At this point the owners of the Villa allowed me a free hand in designing and building.
Projecting wooden rods for clothes hangers + (Inverted) Corner ledge for a small clock
By the end of my tenure, my role was of a resident carpenter.
Villa Salinara, Contrada Spagnola, 91025 Marsala TP, Italy
My next engagement was in Manor Di Botcol in St Nicolas du Pelem in the winter of 2019.
I was employed as a caretaker, handyman and occasional carpenter.
Window sills built with recycled/salvaged floor boards and roof panels.
Manoir di Botcol, Saint-Nicolas-du-Pélem, Brittany, France.