Lino Sabattini

Born in Corregio, Italy, Sabattini (1925-2016) came of age as an artist in the midst of the tensions of World War II. During this period Sabattini trained in a brassware shop to learn the basic skills of metalworking. It was this exposure, along with his subsequent training in the studio of German ceramicist, Roland Hettner, that Sabattini became compelled by the materiality and malleability of shapes. He moved to Milan in 1955, where he set up his own humble studio to try his hand at some of his design ideas. It was there that he made the acquaintance of rising designers and architects, many of them associated with the Domus publication that he had studied so diligently earlier in his career. These new contacts became the conduit between Sabattini and designer Gio Ponti (1891-1979), as they brought several works by Sabattini to Ponti’s office for his critique. Having admired the remarkable fluidity and overall novelty of Sabattini’s production, Ponti orchestrated an exhibition of the young silversmith’s work in 1956 and thereby elevated Sabattini to international recognition. This acclaim earned him a directorship with the luxury manufacturer Christofle Orfèvrerie, a role he would maintain until 1963.