A mano libera
I got to know Stella’s work at the Pietro Vannucci Academy. During her studies, a lyrical, imaginative personality emerged, and guided her towards a fairy-tale world. This personality was expressed through a very detailed and illustrative style by which she produced images poised between dream and reality. Her books retain this style. With dedication and creativity, she folds and sews colors and papers of different weights, turning them into books, or “possible books”. The object acquires an intrinsic value, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a medium of written words.
A mano libera is the Workshop of the Artisan Stella Lupo, a small art corner in Via dei Priori. The Workshop’s name, which means “Freehand” comes from the idea of a hand that dances freely on the sheet, without following any rules. The artisan designs, creates and decorates handmade notebooks, photo albums, postcard holders, sketchbooks, boxes, illustrations, and cards.
Stella Lupo is an illustrator, she learned this craft during her studies and perfected it with years of work and research, specializing in illustration and bookbinding.
The passion for bookbinding arises from her interest in the work of some artists who created books that can be considered true works of art. Not only do handmade bindings, have a structural function, but also a decorative one.
Moreover, one of the artist’s purposes is to give importance back to the raw material and to the beauty of the object. Her creations deviate from industrial production showing quality and originality: the main material, the paper, is modulated and transformed into many structures, in order to convey sensations, messages and emotions.
Stella Lupo’s production is the combined result of artistry, design work, and craftwork.
Her handicraft pieces are unique: each notebook is completely different in shape, colors and materials, which are chosen together with the customer. As a matter of fact, in the A Mano Libera Workshop it is possible to create books personalized with drawings, photos, postcards and text.
The illustrator has also collaborated on the making of the Illustrated Children’s Book “The Garden of Biodiversity”, which calls attention to the importance of respecting nature.
In Stella Lupo’s Artistic Craftsmanship, the Umbrian territory is also present and essential. She collects different types of plants containing fiber and cellulose, in order to create her pages, and also produces natural colors from Elderberry fruits. Consequently, Umbrian plants, leaves and pigments are part of every artefact she makes.
The artisan’s goal is to estore Book Design Value through Artistic Craftsmanship; renewing herself and adapting to current times. While the digital world is moving towards book dematerialization, Stella Lupo’s creations focus on the plasticity of materials, the sensation of touch and the way a book smells. Every handmade piece is no longer just a book or notebook, but it becomes a memory chest.