What I will tell you today is the story of an artist, a young Italian craftswoman.
I invited Sara for a coffee because I wanted to know her story.
How many people have you met in your life who dared to follow a dream?
I don't know many, but Sara is one of them.
And so, today I also tell you about courage, "coraggio" in Italian, a word derived from Latin, formed by cor, heart, and habeo, to have.
Avere cuore, to have a heart.
One might think that Sara's workshop was born by chance, the randomness of a few events that determined the path of a young artist. Stopping to listen to her instead, I discovered a true story of heart and courage that I would like to share with you.
THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW A DREAM
MudMoiselle by Sara Bardazzi
We often associate the heart with love, but the heart even in ancient times was considered the seat of the soul, or at least part of it if we think of Galen's "bodily humors."
It is Sara's heart, the most passionate part of her, that decided for her that day standing before the pottery on display in the window of a housewares store, setting in motion the drive that led her to follow her dream.
We must remember that our hearts should not only be directed toward other people but also and especially toward ourselves: for our dream and all its facets. If we are willing to listen to it, our heart thinks and decides.
Sara studied dietetics in college and that was her job. What made her change her path could have been anything, because the call comes from within when you decide to turn your life upside down, and what happens around us is just an opportunity that we must seize.
What attracted Sara Bardazzi were some Japanese ceramics displayed in the window of a store in the Sant'Ambrogio neighborhood of Florence, the same neighborhood that now houses her Bottega, MudMoiselle.
The first thing Sara did was to look for the Japanese potter who had made them so as to take her first pottery class with her. Sounds like a movie plot, doesn't it?
Of the challenges one faces no one ever talks about, we tend to focus only on the happy ending narrative, and this makes it all seem very easy, but the truth is that behind every dream fulfilled, there are great sacrifices, fatigue, responsibilities, and fears that must be faced.
During that initial ceramics course, Sara realized that she needed to keep studying to fulfill her dream, so she continued to specialize. She also won a scholarship to attend a decorating course and continued with determination on her path to becoming the artist she is today.
She set up her first workshop at home, back in 2015. She was still searching for her own style, and for her first works, she would use the lathe. Then, experimenting with techniques without a lathe, she began to use a rolling pin to shape her creations. Thus, she discovered that the consistency of clay shaped in that way was more in her chords.
She got her inspiration for primitive techniques from the pottery exhibited in archaeological museums. Sara gradually abandoned the lathe to make way for the hand tools she works with today.
For the first four years, each of her works was born as an experiment, a test, a new step toward what would become her style. She displayed her pottery at events and markets, where she had the chance to sell each time as a small merchant at the fair.
The Internet was not a great outlet... well, even I know very well how difficult it is to be noticed in this vast ocean that is the Net.
In 2019, she was finally able to find a workshop in Florence, so that she could open it to the public.
But 2020, as we know, was not a favorable year for activities open to the public, so this first experience did not live up to expectations. Sara, however, knew exactly where she wanted to go and also where she wanted her workshop to be located.
She hoped to find a fund in Via De' Macci, in her favorite neighborhood, and succeeded. In October 2021, she moved to Florence's Sant' Ambrogio neighborhood. In her bottega, Sara works with different types of earthenware, not only clay but also porcelain, the noblest type of pottery, given the presence of kaolin, which can make it white, compact, and very durable. Her creations are decorated with small flowers, dandelions, birds, and little cottages. Sara makes glazes and dyes by hand by mixing pure pigments to find those delicate tones that characterize her romantic style.
So who are "the brave ones"?
They are those who have a clear vision of what lies before them, glory or danger, and run toward it.
They radiate "a light," spreading energy that can inspire others.
Sitting on the terrace of that café as I listened to her, I was feeling good, feeling brave, too.
The meeting with Sara Bardazzi was an inspiring encounter, a recharge of energy to keep persevering in pursuing my project. Dreams are ours alone, and fighting to achieve them also means not letting defeats, and failures discourage you, not letting anyone condition you to do what you don't want to do, and above all never stop.
A lesson that can be learned if you are willing to listen to yourself and if you have the heart to do so.
In Italy, we say, “avere a cuore qualcosa” (to care about something) when that thing is so important that we can't help but take care of it.
Listening to stories like Sara's nourishes the heart with positive energy, and I hope that my story will be an inspiration to you as well and that it will do you good.
A teacup from MudMoiselle was in the Dolce Far Niente Box, this year's first Surprise Box.
New creations by Sara may be on the Emporium in the future, what do you think?
Let me know in the comments or feel free to write to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org .