Giulia Tamburini, a Workshop Story

Goldsmith craftsmanship, innovation, ancient traditions and the first e-commerce. A winning blend that the young Milanese designer knowingly concocts in her creative work, now celebrating its tenth anniversary

«I have always loved the manual work that rotates around craftsmanship and which is now key to my project. I have also always loved the goldsmith’s workbench, which is why my workshop is still the heart and fundamental value of my creations. This is where I design and create my entirely hand-made jewelry and it is here that I sell directly to my clients. The tools with which I work the metals are the same as those used in the Middle Ages and they have never changed: files and saws, iron burins for engraving and pitch as a modelling base. A tradition that risks being lost because there are only very few schools left in Italy and the younger generations have lost interest in manual work, often considering it less noble than something intellectual.» Decisive and determined to nurture her artisan side, Giulia Tamburini appears to be going against the grain, challenging a market where tools such as Computer Assisted Drawing and 3D printers now make it possible to accelerate production times and reach the final customers with products that, while definitely more precise, are lacking in the appeal that a unique item transmits. «Artisan jewelry is unique, it has its own story, it is alive and can also be personalized, something which is more difficult in “industrial” jewelry-making.  However, I do think that craftsmanship should now also feed on innovation when it becomes a strategic partner. My case, having recently launched an e-commerce platform, is an example of how digitizing part of the business is now an indispensable benefit, even for artisan work like mine. There are 220 jewelry items on the website, all of which can be personalized, in various combinations of silver, bronze, gold and stone, including sapphire, tourmaline, ruby, diamond, lapis lazuli, opal and moonstone.  I wanted "landing" on an e-commerce page to be like coming into the workshop. I wanted the same experience and the same feeling of intimacy as a physical encounter. In Milan, we do same-day deliveries with bikers and guarantee delivery within two weeks for gold jewelry. I have also added an intense communication activity with a monthly newsletter, partnerships with micro influencers and initiatives linked to special openings at the workshop one Sunday a month. E-commerce has allowed us to go beyond the Milan area and, from November to January, 95% of orders came from elsewhere in Italy. The next aim is to open up internationally, especially in Northern Europe. What has really surprised us in these initial months since the launch, is the variety of requests and the desire to experiment, something which is highly stimulating for me. 

One project that is going extremely well is our jewelry postcards (which can be seen in the homepage of the website, ed.), an idea in collaboration with my artist friend, Ettore Tripodi. His naïf and slightly magical style perfectly reflects mine and so we decided on a design and an illustration in which the jewelry could come alive. In general, I am very attached to all my collections, from Giardini Portatili to Flora, which begins with making a mold of a real branch (for the anniversary, she is thinking of the animal world but the theme is still top secret, ed), but the collection I worked on the most is Roma with all the openwork, highly requested by customers in the 45/50 age bracket, even though my prime target is generally around 35. I am extremely happy about this new digital project but I can’t deny that the idea of a space where the creative process can be seen close up is still my priority because an artisan’s work must be experienced, discovered, physically touched and savored. That is why I am refurbishing a new workshop in the Porto Venezia area of Milan, which I hope to be able to inaugurate very soon.»

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