Italian metalwork brand Mingardo brings the magic back with a covetable collection of homewares
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
A storage ladder that doubles as a light. A bike stand that wouldn't be out of place in a church. A fruit bowl that looks like a cool car part... There's an element of surprise about Italian brand Mingardo, which has curated a collection of covetable metal homewares with a dash of magic.
Based in the small, historic town of Monselice, near Padua and Venice, Mingardo's back story is intriguing too, with this metalwork company revived by Italian welder Daniele Mingardo in 2013. Once the 40-year-old family firm focussed on traditional metal pieces, but son Daniele saw an opportunity to combine time-honed skills with more contemporary forms, inspired by his time in the workshop where he started aged 18. 'My father always told me, "If you need something, do it with iron!" The passion for iron and the concreteness of things drives me.'
ABOVE: Barbara Schweizer's iron 'Scaltra' portable clothes or towel rack for Mingardo, backlit with atmospheric LEDs
RIGHT: Italian welder Daniele Mingardo founded the new brand in 2013, building on his family firm's metalworks legacy, with collections drawing on traditional methods
BELOW: The elegant brass 'Bi-track' bike stand by Masanori Mori, a simple line with a soft light at the end designed to weather with time
ABOVE: The arcing iron and brass 'Centro' table, and brass 'Separè' multi-use rack, anchored at the base, both by design duo Omri Revesz and Damian Tatangelo
The result is a compact collection of luxe, hand-wrought furniture, lighting and accessories in which metals – from iron to copper and brass – shine, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, details and surface finishes. Produced in Mingardo's own workshop, they're proof that even the most old-school industries can find new direction, even if it's at a considerably higher price tag.
Hand-crafted homewares include small tables and stools, dividing screens and towel racks, and accessories from mirrors to trays, fruit bowls to trivets, and candleholders to charming indoor 'candle lamps'. Sure, the softly illuminated bike rack errs on the side of glamour, but it's functional too. And while pieces may have an industrial look, it's a clean, chic, minimal one, teamed with wood and glass, that's a far cry from the hefty candelabra of yore.
ABOVE: Accessories include the brass 'Elementa' fruit bowl and copper, brass or inox 'Folio' candleholders, both by Antigone Acconci and Riccardo Bastiani; Small furniture spans the 'Fabrica' stool in varnished or burnished iron by Revesz & Tatangelo, and 'Satin' side table by Chiara Andreatti in matt or varnished iron, covered with a brass or copper sheet
Production is local, with a healthy dose of Italian designers on board, from Barbara Schweizer to Chiara Andreatti, Antigone Acconci and Riccardo Bastiani. New-generation global names contributing to the design pool include Japanese-born Masanori Mori, US/Greece-based Objects of Common Interest, Israeli Omri Revesz and Australian Damian Tatangelo (the label has recently been launched in Sydney and Melbourne at Hub's showrooms). So if you thought metalwork was all dodgy old Gothic cast-iron beds, window bars and irons in the fire (literally), then think again. Mingardo is its gleaming modern face...