I met Margherita Pandolfini and Karl Jorns on a gloomy, rainy Monday afternoon. Yes, you heard it right – it wasn’t just Monday, it was also raining cats and dogs. Can you imagine anything worse than that? Luckily enough, Karl and Margherita brightened up my day; they were just that ray of sunshine I needed on such a stormy day.
Their studio/store, La Serra MK Textile Atelier, is located at Via Salvestrina 1, a tiny little street crossing Via San Gallo. It may take you a while to locate it but do not give up! The atelier is artistically hidden behind a little door decorated with a charming pattern.
La Serra got its name from the greenhouse (in Italian, serra) of the Palazzo Pandolfini, which hosts the studio. The place is not just an ordinary atelier; it is also a co-working space, a location to host exclusive events and – last but always first – a textile laboratory, where Margherita and Karl work together to create timeless design pieces. Specialized in eco-friendly and artisanal textile techniques such as serigraphy, hand painting and block printing, the duo crafts beautiful tablecloths, aprons, placemats, pillows, bibs, and shopping bags in bright colors and sophisticated patterns.
“We established our firm here because we wanted it to be a metaphor,” Karl said. “A greenhouse is a place where plants and flowers blossom and grow strong and free, just like our ideas and creativity do in this place.”
“We chose Florence because it has such a rich heritage. Despite what everyone says, it is still the cradle of the arts. It is where artisanal tradition was born,” Margherita added.
Both trained in the arts and expert textile designers with an international background, they said, “We like design because, compared to fashion, it doesn’t necessarily have to follow and adapt to trends every season; we are able to do what we like. Also, there’s a social aspect behind it: design is shareable. A tablecloth, for instance, is something you share with family, friends or whoever sits at your table. A dress or a bag instead is for you and you only.”
Margherita and Karl are currently developing a new line of handbags and recently celebrated the launch of their collection at Bergdorf Goodman, the world-renowned luxury department store in NYC. Visit their studio and keep up with them on Facebook!
La Serra MK Textile Atelier – Via Salvestrina 1, Firenze
written by Alice