Bologna’s Bottega Prata: the art of wrought iron
The Bottega Prata in Bologna is a magical, sparkling smithy where a number of wrought iron masterpieces were and still are created, contributing to beauty in Italy (and in the whole world, considering the amount of international exports): there are gates, grating, staircase and balcony decorative details, as well as statues, bas reliefs, and sculptures.
The workshop was founded and managed – up until he was 90 years old, eight years before his death in 1994 – by Antonio Prata, a craftsman-artist born in the late 1800s who earned the titles of “prince” and “poet” of wrought iron.
The Bottega is now in the hands of Antonio’s grandson and pupil, Pierluigi. Pierluigi remembers his grandfather’s amazing talent and skill: “To teach me this art, he would bring in a leaf that the fall wind had blown to the threshold and make an exact copy of it in iron. His ability in forging metal left me speechless, and made me fall in love with this job. I felt like I belonged there, since I was very young.”
Today, the wind still brings leaves to the front door, and masterpieces continue to come out of Bottega Prata.