Wood, Clay & a Dog in the Italian Countryside
In 2013, Weronika and Marco decided to risk it all and go live in rural Monferrato in the Italian countryside, where they now make their living by creating wood and clay objects for everyday use in the home and kitchen. Weronika majored in Italian during her Erasmus exchange programme, while Marco majored in Philosophy at the University of Turin, where he also worked, though in the field of information technology. He would often visit a carpentry shop to learn how to restore furniture, as his grandfather had been a carpenter, the source of his passion for woodworking.
Eventually, Weronika completed her studies and Marco quit his job, and both embarked on a yearlong journey around the world, mainly to clear their heads and figure out what they wanted to do in life. Marco enjoyed working with wood, and Weronika became passionate about it as well as she watched him restoring furniture. And so, they asked themselves, “could we survive creating wooden bowls and chopping boards?”
They first dove into the unknown by going to live in the countryside, and then again by beginning to create wooden products and selling them online. It went well – very well. Today they sell almost exclusively to customers outside of Italy through their company Bianca & Sons, named after their dog Bianca.
“We were intent on getting certain results with our products and we knew we could reach such results sooner if we worked full time rather than as hobbyists in our spare time. We had a terrible experience in the beginning with a used machine we bought which had a defect we had not been able to spot inspecting its exterior, but that caused it to work poorly, said Marco.
After a year of trying to figure out what was wrong, they concluded that it was damaged. And so, Bianca & Sons became the owners of a new SCM MiniMax C30G combination machine.
Our past experience helped us understand how fundamental a machine’s precision is to doing things well. Money saved on an initial investment is actually money lost. We have followed this philosophy ever since, with all the machines we have purchased.”
Creating products that are meticulously handcrafted requires machines that can provide a particular level of automation. This was the main driver behind Weronika and Marco’s decision to buy a MiniMax.
“When a machine comes with too much automation, you rule out a certain type of woodworking and lose what distinguishes handcrafted products from industrial products, with which we can’t compete, said Marco. This means that it is essential for us to use machines that offer the carpenter a certain level of freedom. Greater automation means lesser creativity, less craftsmanship; it means stripping the handcrafted product of its very nature. Our SCM MiniMax has been able to offer that, and more.