From the stars to oars

May I introduce Piero Dri, a young artisan who has his workshop  il forcolaio matto in Cannaregio, 4231, which is in  Calle de l’Oca, parallel to Strada Nova.

His main work is producing and repairing oars and forcole (oar-locks), but what first captured my attention and drew me into the shop was the display of wooden household utensils and pendants. The workmanship is excellent, the designs fresh and unique.

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This is very much a workshop, with lots of interesting things to capture your attention. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)

Piero was busy measuring and cutting some wood to repair an oar. He obviously knows what he’s doing, he moves confidently, quickly, with no wasted movements.

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Piero studied Astronomy at the University of Padova. Then, in his words  I followed my passion, worked with a master, and now I have my own business.”   

The past

The past

It will be one year in April since this young artisan established his business. How wonderful to see  the beginning of yet another example of a Venetian enterprise. I’m sure you join me in wishing him many years of success.

Remer 022

There were photos of some of the restoration/new works Piero has done, in this folder

There were photos of some of the restoration works Piero has done, in this folder


(Just for the record, I bought a pendant made mainly of pear wood. I love it!)



Filed under Venice

23 responses to “From the stars to oars

  1. Son of Sharecroppers

    Very cool!


  2. julie

    Very interesting Yvonne, thanks for posting, hope his business is a success


  3. What a lovely post Yvonne. That is quite a career change from Astronomy to Carpentry. Worth it though 😀 Ralph xox 😀


  4. Caroline

    What a lovely story! Can I join your date too, please? 🙂


  5. MaryK

    Somebody in this apartment (the male one) is VERY excited about this find and will be hot-footing it over there today. He just LOVES wood! So a big thank you from Jon.


    • Jon is in for a treat, and will find a lot to explore in there! Yesterday, I watched Piero handle a hefty block of wood, which he had marked out, and will become a forcola. These days, they have power saws for the initial cuts, but after that, it reverts to the ancient craft.


  6. Rick Gafuik

    I would love to visit this shop. Rick


  7. TAB

    You find the most interesting places!


  8. I have a wooden spatula that a patient in the doctor’s office where I worked made and gave to me…I’ve had it since probably 1972! It has gone lots of different places with me…when the kitchen gets packed it’s always in the box. I’ll have to check out his kitchen stuff next time I’m there.
    My late husband would have loved that workshop…heck, he would have loved Venice if he could have gotten over his “but they don’t speak English” phobia.


  9. This stuff is always so fascinating.


  10. Barb

    Adding it to my list of places I want to visit. Would you like to come along? 🙂


  11. Aren’t they beautiful! It truly is special to see such old skills practiced by young people. Power to them!


  12. I’d love to have some of the wooden kitchen utensils. It’s nice to see that these crafts and skills are not totally lost yet. So many are becoming obsolete and it’s a real shame.


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