Lucky me: Few weeks ago, browsing my mum’s collection of old female works magazines I was amazed by the discovery of a blacksmith turn into an embroidery creator: Renato Parolin. Renato’ designs are presented in books and others publications in Italy and France to inspire a to give to cross stitch lovers the opportunity to realize beautiful and romantic handworks.
I just thought that he was the perfect man! So i decided to to look fo him! Being an old magazine I was desperate to find him, but luckily Google helped me, so after a long research I finally had the opportunity to ask him some question: here his story, I’m sure you will love it, coz it is a real Italian story: Family, Love & Passion!
M.L. When I read about you on Rakam I taught that your story condensed perfectly the topics about I’m interested: Love, Italy and embroidery, Would you tell me about it?
R.P. To better make you understand how I become what I’m today I should go a few years backward. I was born in the second century of the Christian era, in 1964, in the ’70 my beloved grandmothers were alive (in my heart they are still…), being very attached to old people, between a bit of study and a lot of playing, I use to spend a lot of time with them (n.d.r. in Italy, “nonna” the grandmother, is the very pillar of the family! I learn myself to stitch and embroider with my very beloved nonna Peppa).
Nonna Ida lived in a place looking like a doll’s house, very simple but with a very peculiar touch, full of trinkets, small frames, doilies and old stuff, I loved staring at her while she was doing crochet to realize the doilies that she used to put on her old furniture.
I was amazed by the way the thread went on and behind the knitting needles and I was particularly amazed by her technique to get the doilies rigid: she wet it with water and sugar and then she iron it!
She never knew that while she was occupied in her domestic duties, I used to hang around the house to lick the doilies, and tasting their……sweetness!
I’m sure that that sugar helps to grow my feelings and my creativity.
Nonna Isetta lived with my family, she had some trouble to walk so I used to take her out during the sunny days in spring and fall. When at home, especially after have done her rosary, she started knitting, and of course, I couldn’t avoid to get hypnotized by her movements.
When she was young she was very good in embroidery, especially in the technique of intaglio, I still keep her works, among which an amazing collar that my dad used to complete his school uniform.
I keep jealously among my sweetest souvenir a velvet purse embroidered with satin stitch: little pink flowers and tenders green leaves.
Nonna had done it for my Grandpa because among the flowers there is his monogram…..too beautiful!
Another fundamental person has been my mom, she taught me, with a lot of passion, to do crochet and knitting, because I want it so much.
So, as the great Antonio Canova, I have too my “three Graces”….how could one not to respect and love women?
M.L. I wonder the same…. but, let’s go on, I know that you were born as a blacksmith, how did you start embroider? How have you learned?
R.P. After my Arm duty, in the ’80, I entered into my family business, but without any kind of privilege, all the laborer were older than me, so I had to help and assist them. It has been my first real job and it helps me to grow up and improve my character and my body.
Hit the iron, taking up weight, to weld, to grind, to on building sites, it has been a very hard job but I learned how to earn honestly my life and it helps me to create my own family.
Then destiny has put on my path Paola, endless inspiring muse, my friend, my lover, and wife since more than 30 years. She taught me how to embroider, with the simple technique of cross stitch, during our pleasant evening in our love nest, when we were just married. My fist artwork has been a howl embroidered on asackcloth, using various wool treads, leftovers of several sweaters.
It was 1986…my first design…..since then I couldn’t stop.
M.S. where the idea to express your feelings toward your beloved trough embroidery?
R.P. the idea come from the satisfaction to have learnt how to do cross stitch: a very simply technique, the simplest among the embroidery techniques, but which give you endless opportunity to create, with a bit of fantasy.
The designs I created are the reproduction of poems and quotes that Paola wrote for me and I wrote for her and our sons Giulia ad Leonardo.
M.L. How did you decide to dedicate all your time to embroidery?
R.P. It has been very hard and it takes longtime before deciding, I felt like I had an insormontabile wall in front of me.
Even if my work as an embroider was starting giving the first results, it wasn’t enough to maintain my family, in the same time I was really frustrated by my work as blacksmith, that had job started to corrode my soul.
So, what was the best decision to take? To start professionally work in the embroidery or to keep the old job?
I listened to my heart and, at 43 years old I jumped into the void, hoping to fly and not to crush!
to reach the daylight there is no other way but the night
Inspired by this quote and helped by Paola, I started this incredible new life, so here I am, full of happiness, enjoying the fruits of my hazardous decisions.
Others nights will come, and other decision will be taken, but the present is a bright moment to fully live.
….any night is endless…. The is always hope if one wants….
I’m really grateful to Renato, for sharing his very original and tender experience of Love&Passion.