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The First Exhibition

In 1969 I attended the Florence Handicraft Exhibition. It was a huge satisfaction to win in the Tuscan capital, considering the level of participants. The day of the award ceremony I was very excited. They handed me the microphone, but I couldn’t get a word out. Fortunately, someone remembered that I was used to express myself only through works and that I would never stepping down from my artistic philosophy.

I overruled in what was considered the Italian championship of craftsmanship, but I was aware of having to stay grounded. I looked at the Arno, the spiers of the churches magically illuminated by the sun, the Florentines in everyday life in a context that has no equal in the world, and I repeated to myself that I should have lived up to that award. It could have seemed a great success for me, but it was nothing compared to the majesty of the artistic traces which Florence is richly adorned with.

Well, it was just the beginning and nothing could have allowed me to step forward but my job. This city remained impressed in my heart for another reason as well. An old woman stopped in front of the window where my creations were exhibited. “May I help you?”, I asked her, “No, thank you, I just feast my eyes. Florentine goldsmiths should learn how to make these things!”, she replied without looking at me. She walked away and I never saw her again. I wanted to give her what she wished, but I couldn’t afford it.

Well, it was just the beginning and nothing could have allowed me to step forward but my job. This city remained impressed in my heart for another reason as well. An old woman stopped in front of the window where my creations were exhibited. “May I help you?”, I asked her, “No, thank you, I just feast my eyes. Florentine goldsmiths should learn how to make these things!”, she replied without looking at me. She walked away and I never saw her again. I wanted to give her what she wished, but I couldn’t afford it.

I didn’t even have a brochure and I had to overcome that serious organizational gapby using some simple sheets of paper on which my fiancée and future wife, Anna Taverniti, designed the jewels indicating, alongside each of them, the price and the items: It is sold; It is not sold, depending on whether they were owned by me or if I borrowed them, with the commitment to return them at the end of the exhibition.

Not only this. To make my samples, I had immediately to unload the beautiful gold medal won at the exhibition, which on one side had the coat of arms of the Italian Republic, and on the other one the Baptistery of Florence’s doors. It was painful, but necessary.

Just recently, after having lost track of it for over forty years, I found the bronze cast of that recognition and I reproduced a copy. At the time unfortunately I could not do otherwise. More and more important commitments required a decidedly different, more professional approach to my business.

Freely based on the book “I’m Nobody! My long journey between art and life. Gerardo Sacco, conversation with Francesco Kostner”