It all starts without us knowing it already started,
as nothing is planned at the beginning, only our desires…
I want to paint.
The action, the expression, the feeling of forgetting about the rest and focusing in one flow, one single flow…
As a kid I was interested in painting, in doing so I found a space that was completely mine, and I loved it. So I painted and painted…
Looking back, I realize that every step of the way has been a reaffirmation of the same, over and over I was as we are now looking for ways to express ourselves, and through that expression try to grasp a little bit of what it means to be on this world, in this place, with this particular circumstances and surrounded by all the people that we love.
Our life began when Sandra and I saw each other for the first time, we just passed by like two strangers that see themselves for the first time, but there was something else on that look, something that preluded what it would come years after…
A whisper becomes a dream,
A dream becomes a vision,
A vision becomes a life
I remember it well, standing on a giant rock, looking at the sunset with the water calling as it crashed and crashed again 50 feet below…
with a lot of fear but with the conviction that it was time to jump, it was time to start!
The dream started with a dog named Bartolo, a water stream on the forest, a crown of flowers and ourselves as spectators watching our future life passing by on the reflections of the river.
Tests of love
So we escaped and married in Italy. As we did everything our own way, unconventional, always testing preconceptions we try to find our own small self path, we started living…
As there was no planning with this way of life, our first son, Pietro, came to life like love came as well. We had no money and we didn’t needed any (at least that what we thought at that moment).
Pietro came to life dead, and our first test came with it… Learning to stay together and always acting fast in a difficult situation, without hesitation, always putting what`s first first, we managed to come out safe and strong together.
Some other tests came after with Pietro, that thank God we were able to face with the same attitude and with love, the cornerstone to do a great work in life, as Pietro`s name stands for…
Things started to settle down as we were able to start our own Estudio Pietra, a firm of art, restoration, architecture and a small furniture workshop.
We manage to work as architects with clients such as Saul e. Mendez in many of his early projects, as we had the vision of a contemporary way of living we were always searching for clients that could share with ourselves this way of seeing the future of art and architecture in Guatemala.
We started Art restoration at the Cathedral, looking for ways to present all the treasures hidden of the cathedral, and worked on the design of a Museum for this treasures.
We founded with Luis Gonzalez Palma and Dario Escobar among others Colloquia, the first contemporary Art Foundation in Guatemala.
We won the first Biennal of Architecture with the glass house, situation that put us in the spot at a very early stage of our career.
We were interviewed by cnn for our projects and innovations in our architectural way of seeing life…
With all this Crisol came to life, our daughter, completely different, always presenting herself from a very early stage as herself!
With Crisol came a new feeling, a new need that we couldn`t express in any of the works that we did at that time, we needed something else, but we didn`t know what it was. The meaning on the name Crisol stands for the recipient where all the great work is created…
The only way you can do something is by doing it, knowing comes after, as tests, mistakes and false paths, but the important thing will always remain:
keep moving without escaping
As the action of painting traduce itself in several ways of expression throughout the years that came after, we realize that in every venture our vision started to crystalize more and more as we grew older;
Design became the ability to see the properties of an object or a situation no matter what particularity the situation presented.
Action gives you impetus, constant movement as you understand that there is no place where you can stand and affirm yourself for a long period of time, as you have to keep on moving…
DS and LGP
Danny and Luis came to our lives for different reasons and thought us in the art of looking and understanding the object more than anyone else did. Both of them were in many ways completely different, but they had something in common: the pursuit of doing whatever you were supposed to do with great passion, unstoppable questioning and high quality results.
The ability to see,
As there is no other thing my friend,
We only have our own eyes to capture and process,
To dissect, to explode, to complete, to join, to intersect, to become…
If you see you understand,
As you see what is missing, in order to complete…
As you see what is overrun, in order to discard…
As you see all the parts, in order to re-create the whole…
The ability of being precise,
As perfection comes from a thousand failures,
And again and again, finding small pieces of truth on our way,
We become more precise…
The dream of a “painting machine”
A giant wheel that turns and spins, spitting all over drops of paint with great precision and movement at the same time… it was time to move forward again, as all the things and situations that were done before were preparing us for this particular moment, for a new step…
I woke up.
We were in New York celebrating Christmas with the kids after a long and exhausting year working architectural projects of all types…
The room had a view to the backyard, very early, with the blue sky and the sun touching every building, every water tank and the white streets with the white snow covering all the flat surfaces…
Still feeling the movement of the wheel, with its unstoppable turns and spins, and looking to my own private view, I realize that I needed to find this machine: I took a pencil and a paper and I draw the machine as I saw it on my dream…
The search began on google (2002) for:
And all the possible combinations…
In 2002 the possible combinations were not even the tenth that we have right now if we had a dream like this and start googling it!
I came across digital Fabrication, a new way (at least for me) of expressing myself with great precision, a new brush, a new canvas.
That is how we found CNC technology:
computer numerical control, the future of design.
Without hesitation we jumped again and bought the machine, our painting machine that would change the course of our practice and that as we found after would do everything spinning and spinning!
Very early we found out that we needed to create a new business for this machine, as we had a conventional workshop related in some way to our architectural practice, this type of technology required more knowledge and new ways of seeing things in a different perspective unknown for us at the moment.
You need to have that. That’s what you need to move, to create, to learn, to fail to succeed.
Action with a burning desire to change…
There`s always a sense of loss when you work for others, when the work that you do as an artist, as an architect or as a designer has not found the consistency and weight necessary so that it will let you create without the feeling of losing yourself in the work.
We needed to find a way of retaining our knowledge, a way which will let us create over and over again without feeling that sense of loss that happened in the early architectural projects.
Our first object created, a big oval chair composed of 13 sheets of wood (Now we do one in one quarter of a sheet), was very uncomfortable, very heavy, without any purpose as every chair has one defined by a posture as we found out after…
We learned. We realized that we needed to do wise objects without waste, as the beauty of an object not only resides in what you see as a final product but as all the practices that you practice in achieving that beauty.
We had to keep on going, mistake by mistake…trial and error, again and again. Suddenly, we realized that something happened on the way: For the first time in our lives, we felt that something was changing, as it felt completely ours, we realized that the work produced, even if they were all exercises of fail and learn were the only way home!
So we took what we had and started the learning process, by the hand of our great friend and Engineer Estuardo De La Rosa, we jumped in the depths of digital fabrication to change the way we did things, to create things that were not created yet and to feel happy on the way…
To achieve precision, exactitude, high quality, new forms, new geometry`s
And above all, new ways of expression…
Piegatto is born
There`s always a strong relation between the artist and his method, as one`s achievements are completely related to the way we do things, the materials we use and the instruments we utilize in achieving our goals.
A person with a stick drawing lines on the sand,
A person with some paint making figures on a wall,
A person with a hammer in one hand, a chisel in the other hitting a big white rock…
When did we became artists?
When we decided to bring to life something from within ourselves, when we express… not as an act of reasoning but as an act of consciousness.
Time evolves, materials evolve as instruments do, but the main issue is the same:
When you know how to draw a line its completely unimportant if its with a stick, with your hand, with a pencil or with a computer…
And when you know how to draw a line and you find out much more accurate ways in doing so, then you take this new ways of doing to create a work of art…
Art is about finding new ways for expressing ourselves…
So the idea was clear:
We start with one simple trace, the trace becomes an idea for an object, we start producing prototypes with this idea.
Workflow nurtures itself from testing, knowledge stays and grows from one design to another, as what you achieve in one design will be the start up for the next one.
When you understand this you start to produce. What has happened in all our products it`s been a continuos reinvention of the form and the concept as years pass by. The first S dining chair that we did is completly different as our last design, although every step of the process has led us to our last and non definitive design.
This means that in a period of time, the object will be subject to changes that are related to new experiences, new ways of seeing life and new technologies. There is no loss at all, as you start where you left things earlier.
So I take whatever I have at hand and start. Half days are wondering, trying to find out the next step, until I realize that there is no next step assured and I start all at once.
When I act without thinking is when I have the best results. Doing design is an exercise with myself, but at the same time is something that has to be for everybody. It`s like a personal impersonal act, as you never stop in thinking what would feel the other person, how he or she will accommodate or use it.
How do we see…
We see things in a natural way. We want designs that look as if they have been all along here, just waiting for our discovery.
Understanding nature means doing something that has the essentials, something that connects without doing copy paste.
Everyday for today, is it possible?
Nature is possible, so as long as we keep related to it we are on the right track.
Designing a new piece starts with a need for filling the empty space…. As everything has been created in one way or another by nature, we come to the point where we visualize our own interpretation of nature, we fulfill a glimpse of perfection.
Finding the need… as we look over and over, as we search and start a conversation with the object, a object that does not exist in the present moment but that will be present and real in the future.
About a chair...
What we love when doing chairs is the connection that exists between your body and the way the surface touches your skin…
We create surfaces that relate to different activities in life, as every posture defines what you will feel, this is the starting point…
The beauty, the structural strength and feeling comfortable are the basic needs to create a perfect chair….
Every chair responds in different ways to this three principles, as the posture defines what your body will do when using the chair, beauty is the principle that should be exposed… the chair has to be beautiful when you see it for the first time… like first love…
Beauty is the most important issue, as the ways of the chair will remind people of something else, something hidden that the observer does not see but know it's there…
The next frontier comes when you sit on that chair…. As beauty only speaks of the outside, feeling the chair is the hidden gem.
Feeling the chair is the guau factor, the inner connection… creating a chair that integrates with your body,
a chair where you can imagine things,
you see yourself contemplating a sunset,
you see yourself looking in or looking back,
you see yourself having a great conversation,
you feel you can rest, you are resting…
We need to have objects where connecting with ourselves is more simple, as when we use them we forget about the rest…
As for the structural part is important, for us this should always be hidden… like the roots of a tree.
Not knowing how the chair stands great weight is the secret as the support is there but you don't see it!
So it all happens in 5 seconds…
you see the chair, you like what you see,
you sit on the chair, you like what you feel,
you test the chair with your weight and realize that is strong enough to support you….
You fell in love!