From Italian Stories to Storie di chi, paper maker and engraver Andrea de Simeis tells about his passion for handicraft

Sogliano Cavour – “Look, this is real paper.” Every time I say these words, pulling out a new pad of paper from the water, I always feel great satisfaction.

I dab the sheets thoroughly, I spread them out to dry and I take in that scent in the air that reminds me of fresh laundry… it, however, actually comes from the basic rinse that cleans the fiber of all impurities.

Paper is a living and immortal material, it has always accompanied our lives, our thoughts, our choices, and I am deeply in love with it.
italian-stories-cartaI am a paper-maker by trade, and my graphic designer past has helped me combine my other passion, etching, with the craftsmanship of paper.

When I close the door of my workshop, time stops for me. I identify with the medieval artisans when I bring my etchings on paper that I myself hand write following VII century techniques.
italian-stories-cartaI make use of the Mediterranean botanical species to write, paint and scent the handcrafted papers.

I also produce artisanal papers made of plant fibers from Salento and I personally take care of the whole process: from the harvest of the plants to the lineation of the sheets, from the engraving and intaglio with printing press; as well as printing with lead movable letters and book binding.
italian-stories-cartaI love to talk about my work and art: I would do it tirelessly for hours and days. The culture, the concentration and the patience that the craftsmanship of paper requires helps you rediscover the beauty of things that are done well and without haste.

I hope that many young people will discover the charm of this activity, art and life… because it’s really worth it!

The beauty of our country seen through the eyes of Italian craftsmen

The publication of this story is the result of our partnership with Italian Stories , the first marketplace for cultural tourism and craft experiences in Italy.

By clicking here you can book your workshop in Andrea‘s workshop.

The article you have just read is taken from the book “MANI – the heart of Italian craftsmanship“, published by Italian Stories in December 2016;  photography by Alessandro Sicuro.

To get a copy of the book, and experience the beauty of an extraordinary journey through the stories of Italian craftsmen, you can write to