Alfonso Graffeo is a craftsman with a passion to capture the intrinsic sculptural beauty of coral. He was born in Sciacca in 1960. He is one of few remaining persons to work with coral in his place of birth. As a teenager he spent time in his father’s workshop learning the art of coral sculpture. Upon graduation from high school, he focused his attention on coral craft and precious metals design. He attended courses of professional specialization in Trapani, where he also taught.
In 1990 he decided, with his wife Giusi Damiano, a jewelry designer, to open their retail shop-cum-workshop, “Coral and Precious Things.” He has participated in several exhibitions and events both domestic and foreign. He has a great fascination for the ancient art of jewelry and this has inspired him to study the restoration of jewelry, silver and ancient coral.
The secret of his creations is the way he turns branches of coral into a variety of original sculptures, expressing his craftsmanship through experimenting with new materials, combining the innate beauty of the coral with creative imagination. His products are a fusion of ancient and modern art!
Giusi Damiano was born in Trapani. She took to design from childhood and discovered that she possessed talent in both dexterity and creative ability.
Her passion for vermilion coral blossoms came when her father, a coral fisherman, brought in a big catch from the sea of Trapani and this stimulated her fascination. With years of study her artistic maturity developed.
She attended professional courses for coral and precious metals craftsmanship and jewelry design. She apprenticed with a goldsmith to develop her technique of working with gold. She later did additional training at coral design. Along with her life partner, Alfonso Graffeo, she decided to start up a business, and opened a shop-laboratory called “Corals and Precious Things.” Their sculptured jewels are expressions of strong emotions: the material vibrates, takes shape, and is created.
From the moment of creative concept, Giusi Damiano is aware of the final outcome: she studies, focuses, concentrates until that moment of metamorphosis. The process from concept to completion of the desired shape represents an exaltation that reveals something new and wondrous. There is no one truth but many truths… The soul must be the mirror reflection of the unique and unrepeatable created object.
Corals, a passion that becomes culture and professional expertise in the activity of Giusi Damiano and Alfonso Graffeo ....
The list of shows, exhibitions and conferences attended by Alfonso Graffeo and Giusi Damiano over the years .....
Trapani, city of corals
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a notable production of works created by expert masters flourished in Trapani .......
The soul must be the reflected mirror of the created object: unique and unrepeatable