Simone Castelli

My passion for wood started at a very young age

when I lived in Viareggio on the waterfront and near a canal which, once crossed over a small bridge, led me to that magical and mysterious place that was the Vecchia Darsena (the Old Dock) for me. Back then, the yards of the Calafatti were in full swing. It was from there that I got the scraps of wood with which I constructed miniature boats and objects, the purpose of which was known only to me.

In my memory are still etched in an indelible manner the dazzling warm sunshine and the smell from the resinous wood of the maritime pine from which the boats were made.
Painting is also a big passion for me.

I used coloured pencils and those big pens which painted red, green, blue or black depending on the button I pushed. I remember getting up early in the morning to paint with pleasure animals, plants and the magic of the world around me.

In order not to disturb this sensitivity with the interference of school discipline, my mother, a teacher in Latin, decided to not send me to school but to provide my elementary education herself.

Her father, granddad Augusto was a man of exceptional intelligence. He was a pioneer of the automobile industry and has registered in his lifetime more than 100 patents, the most famous among which is the ”brown coal carburetor” which, in the years after the war, was searching to resolve the transport problems due to the shortage of naphtha. After the Torino factory was destroyed by the bombings, he relocated to Versilia where he established a new laboratory in Viareggio.

This was the magical place where, after a run in his Alfa convertible, he loved to take me. It was there that I stood ecstatic in front of the eucalypt models painted in dark red which served for making the iron casting.
At present, the experiences of the past 30 years have finally made me aware of the special relationship I had with those important people in my life and of the creative charge which had sent me like a fountain of life, like a dream without boundaries, in search of this living and sensitive matter that wood is for me.

A material to love with no hesitation or compromise, to research until all traces and signs which transform life into magic and the material into an inseparable part of your body are recovered.

Those wonderful years have given me a world made of emotion and freedom, a freedom that I still keep intact inside me.
I have always sought and found the secret language of colors in the objects of nature; in the worn-out architectures the noble sign of time and of the hands of men who have created shapes and symmetries, shadows and lights.

I have always stored deep inside the material of the limewashed walls, crooked and damp stained by oxidized tones, of the wood of the old floors and of those brought by the sea. And again the branches of the garden that I planed and polished with shark skin, like a precious secret to be kept absolutely.

So, in parallel with my studies, I began a continuous collection of recycled building materials torn from landfills: coffered ceilings, old beams, wooden floors hundreds of years old, doors, stones and all that, through the strength of the material and the color, stimulated my sensitivity. From all this was born that desire to share my “Secret Garden” with the world through the marketing of what I love to call “My Woods”.

My approach that respects, but at the same time goes beyond, the purely commercial aspects of relationships, preferring rather the search for emotions that are now so rare and consequently so precious.

My production has always been directed to the artifact and never to the production of traditional carpentry. So I started the production of hand-planed wooden floors and at the same time I started the research, which continues today, on tannic reactions. Naturally the raw material, wood, mainly oak, was then, as indeed now, purchased in the forest from sustainable cuts made in plantations and never in natural forests. Since then the growth of my business has been progressive and constant.

Simone Castelli talks about himself
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