Fratelli Borgioli have a talk with Giordano Viganò, a cabinetmaker with more than 50 years of experience in the field.


Although techniques have changed over time, Giordano Viganò’s passion and attachment to his craft have continued as an irreplaceable requirement for those expert hands to create their masterpieces.

His work is characterized by extreme accuracy in the selection of precious materials to be used and careful attention to every specific detail: this is to guarantee not only the highest quality standards but also adds to the aesthetic value of each piece.

Moreover, his personal research has played an important role in adding significant finishes to wood by combining it with other materials such as glasssilverbone and shagreen.

The purpose of this expertly applied mastery is not to produce something spectacular or pretentious which is so widespread nowadays, but to accentuate the pure beauty hidden in the smallest detail which makes every piece a unique treasure.

In this interview we have the opportunity to talk in depth with Giordano Viganò about his craftsmanship activity, focusing on the characteristics of his artworks and their production process.


Questions For Giordano Viganò

  1. Giordano Viganò working activity has been going on for more than 50 years. After all this experience, what does it mean to be an expert cabinetmaker?
  2. The protagonist of your artworks is the wood, what kind of connection do you have with this raw material?
  3. What kind of connection do you have with the territory, and its preservation?
  4. In a context where industrial production is really catching on, how important is craftsmanship in the composition of your artwork?
  5. What type of technologies do you use and how do you manage to innovate your process of creation and composition of your artworks?
  6. Technological innovation in your working field is inevitable, as it brings some relevant advantages. How do you manage to combine it with the tradition?
  7. How do you relate to an increasingly demanding clientele that has a variety of tastes?
  8. Where does the idea of combining wood with other materials, such as silver and glass, into your artworks?
  9. How important is, in your opinion, the “made in Italy” tradition nowadays?
  10. What are the main inspirations for your artworks?
  11. What future plans are you expecting for your business?

  1. Giordano Viganò working activity has been going on for more than 50 years. After all this experience, what does it mean to be an expert cabinetmaker?

Being an expert cabinetmaker means to still feel passion and wonder for this profession. It means selecting and working wood with extreme care, but also daring the curiosity of trying new technical solutions and finishes.

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2. The protagonist of your artworks is the wood, what kind of connection do you have with this raw material?

Wood is indeed a fascinating material, for its variety of essences, veins, textures and perfumes. Like every material, wood has surprising features and limits that must be known and studied in order to use it effectively, respecting its natural essence. Wood is alive, it can be “docile” in the hands of the craftsman, but it can also be “rebellious”, wringing and fissuring.

The skill of a cabinetmaker is all in his expert hands.

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3. What kind of connection do you have with the territory, and its preservation?

Respect for and care of the environment takes place through the awareness that the natural resources are not unlimited and for this reason they must not be wasted. For this reason the wood I use for my works comes from suppliers who select the raw material responsibly. The cabinetmaker is therefore committed to transforming this noble material into timeless objects.

Every single piece of the collection is characterized by a bone label with Giordano Viganò’s logo.

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4. In a context where industrial production is really catching on, how important is craftsmanship in the composition of your artwork?

Craftsmanship plays a key role in the realization of my artworks, and it encompasses all the production process: from the selection of wood to woodworking, assembly and finishing.

Elegant writing desk made of maple wood with a thin edging in amaranth wood. A pen tray made of amaranth wood is built in the top, closed by a rounded lid.

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5. What type of technologies do you use and how do you manage to innovate your process of creation and composition of your artworks?

In my workshop I use traditional woodworking machines and, when necessary, I make use of CNC woodwoking* through my selected personal partners. In this way, you can have faster and more competitive production times, which result necessary when it comes to small production runs.

Of course, this part of the production process is also subject to my personal supervision in order to maintain a high quality standard.

CNC Woodworking* = A CNC wood router is a CNC router tool that creates objects from wood. CNC stands for computer numerical control. The CNC works on the Cartesian coordinate system (X, Y, Z) for 3D motion control.

Giordano Viganò workshop.

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6. Technological innovation in your working field is inevitable, as it brings some relevant advantages. How do you manage to combine it with the tradition?

In the productive process, there are some works that are optimized by advanced technologies, which benefit the subsequent steps of the process itself. These stages, instead, require a high degree of manual skill in defining the details.

Today technology has made quite a substantial contribution to craftsmanship, enhancing handmade works without modifying their essence.

Coffee table entirely covered in blue shagreen. The table top is decorated by a round piece of Azurite stone and a larger round piece covered with parchment. The base is covered in parchment and blue galuchat.

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7. How do you relate to an increasingly demanding clientele that has a variety of tastes?

The people who come to us for our craft activities are qualified, reliable and able to express their needs. To realize a customized project means to personalize every step of the process: from the selection of the materials to the definition of details, to the finishing.

The production itself is preceded by research and testing, the drafting of executive drawings and a constant dialogue with the client (who may be a private, a designer or a company that requires the development of a prototype).

This basically means encompassing the client in a fascinating co-design experience.

Clutch bag made of ebony with bone or iguana leather.

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8. Where does the idea of combining wood with other materials, such as silver and glass, into your artworks?

Wood is our protagonist and the glass, silver or brass are complementary materials that are used as decorations and, in some cases, as functional materials.

Candlestick made of ebony macassar, bone and silver-plate

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9. How important is, in your opinion, the “Made in Italy” tradition nowadays?

Meaning “Made in Italy” as a mere concept of geolocation is, in my opinion, obsolete and limiting. For this reason, I prefer to refer to this concept as Italian Heritage. This highlights the cultural value of my work, characterised by tradition, knowledge and affection to the craft profession, which derives from the Reinassance era.

Frame made of ebony with silver edge.

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10. What are the main inspirations for your artworks?

It is often the material itself that inspires me a specific shape or function for the artwork. In other cases, it is required to follow a specific need that leads the project and material selection. Usually, everything that surrounds me, thrills me and stimulates my imagination and is turned into artwork ideas.  

Skate made of ebony and inlayed with several kind of different wood that design the shape of a leaf. It is part of Natural Talent Exibition. Design: Lee Elizabeth.

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11. What future plans are you expecting for your business?

We are living a very tough moment. I think that continuing to do the job with competence and passion, offering an accurate service and a high-quality product, can ensure a presence in the global market.

This is also possible thanks to the web and social support, which allow you to convey your professionalism and your works of art in a unique and fascinating way.

Side table with one drawer and a pull-out shelf made of ebony macassar and bone.

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We want to thank Giordano Viganò for this interview: we had the opportunity to appreciate the details of the work of a professional craftsman and his attachment to the quality and aesthetics of his artworks.

Keep updated with Giordano Viganò‘s social and activities:

Discover other beautiful stories with our artists and artisans interviews. Enjoy the reading!