A1981/1 New 2014 "Reindeer with Blue Saddle
Luca Terruzz was born in 1962. His mother, Rosa De Carlini, is the daughter of Enrico De Carlini, who found the factory. The Sofferia De Carlini family business officially began in 1947, which makes Luca a third generation family employee.
Luca's mother and father, Giulio Terruzzi, are still active in the workshop. His wife, Sabrina, also helps out. There eight-year-old daughter Alice appears to be very artistic, so she may become interested down the road. As for there son Marco, it's very difficult to classify his artistic future at the tender age of three!
Luca, what was it like growing up surrounded by ornaments?
I could almost say I was born in the workshop. As often happens here in Northern Italy, the artisan workshop is located below our family apartments. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time among the silvered glass balls and bright colors. When I was nine, my mother put me in charge of attaching the little metal caps on each silvered ball. I remember sitting in the garden with my dog doing this "difficult" work. That was my first introduction to the business. I can't say I was actually employed because she didn't pay me!
When did you actually begin learning the family trade?
I started helping my parents with small jobs during school vacations when I was about sixteen. Gino began teaching me the art of glass blowing. I started with spheres, the easiest shapes to blow. After that, I advanced to ovals and finally, I was good enough to blow figures. That was the most exciting work! It takes about two or three years as an apprentice before one has the skills to blow a complete figural ornament. Gino, who is like a member of the family, still helps us during busy periods.
What is your role today in the family business?
After finishing my studies, I officially entered the business in 1985. Since then, I've been responsible for client relations and management. Unfortunately, I've have had little opportunity to devote to glass blowing. My parents have been very helpful to me by managing the blowing and painting departments.
Who comes up with all of the whimsical designs for which the De Carlinis are so well known?
In a small business like ours, everyone is encouraged to have creative moments. We do not have official titles like "design director" or "art creator". Sometimes our customers want to personalize an ornament and in so doing, a new idea is born. More often than not, new designs come from a member of the family. Actually, it's a simple matter of making suggestions, expressing sentiments and creating an element of fantasy.
We also have a "sample team" who turn ideas into reality. They blow the prototype, spray the base color, and decorate it with countless details. The team creates many variations so our clients can make their "exclusive" choice.
Tell us about the factory. How many employees are in your workshop?
The workshop is located on the ground floor of our building and the family live upstairs. This is a typical setup in northern Italy. De Carlini's usually employs 15 to 20 staff, although there are seasonal adjustments. Our skilled glass blowers are mostly men and comprise about 40 per cent of the staff. Women are generally hired to paint ornaments and account for 50 per cent of the staff. The rest work in our packing and shipping departments.
What do you enjoy most about the ornament business?
I love the creative nature of this business. I can immerse myself in a Christmas atmosphere and let my imagination run free to dream up new ideas and designs.
Excerpt taken from Connie Porcher 2007 Interview with Luca Terruzzi