ntrepreneurs from the Italian North-East are always gossiped. They are, in fact, something of an oddity in this country, where production is rooted in a maze of small, anarchical talents, rather than in organic structure. The few times they are talked about, it is with words such as ‘reserved’, ‘introverted’, and so on. And yet, as always, in the midst of these unfavourable descriptions, we can find characters who don’t fit the bill, don’t match the cliché. Doriano Mattellone is one of these. He is well educated, he writes better than a journalist, and he is constantly back-packing around the world in search of green and pleasant lands. He photographs nature, loves rivers (he lives beside one), and studies wood, the latter being his job. His work was more about fate than about making money: his family had always worked with wood, so the path he took seemed to be already mapped out for him. Then, for the next 30 years, Doriano has been bending, twisting and studying wood; testing material, quality and varieties. He suddenly discovers how to give wood something that it was missing, how to improve it and correct Mother Nature’s mistakes.
He begins combining it with aluminium, living tissue combined with technological soul: old and new, hot and cold, artifice and nature. After a while, he realised that he was not challenging wood enough; he needed to do something else, to change direction going beyond what he has so far experimented. He needed a design, a project. Almost by chance, he met Matteo Ragni, a designer. Matteo immediately became the missing link to the w-eye project. W-eye is an accessory – the creature of the relation between the love for wood and the expert line of a designer. On the other hand, w-eye is not just about making wonderful spectacles – it is the story of an encounter. Is a frame inspired by interior design, and made entirely with wood and aluminium.
Available in two models and in six different types of wood. The way in which the wood is worked allows the frame to mould easily to fit the wearer. The curvature of the frame and the way in which the aluminium is incorporated make up a truly unique piece of eyewear. “We begin by choosing sheets of wood of 0.5mm thickness, which we group together according to their aesthetic and mechanical properties. Seven sheets of wood are then interlaid with two sheets of aluminium. The sheets of wood are disposed with the fibres running in alternating directions: first vertically, then horizontally, and so on. This makes the structure both resistant and flexible at the same time. After glue has been applied, the frame is placed in a press for 40 minutes. Excess glue is then removed, and a digitally controlled cutting machine is used to create the contours of the frame in accordance with the design. Next, the frame is sanded down, smoothed and fined tuned by hand. Each frame is then checked and tested individually to make sure that it has retained its resistance and flexibility, and to ensure that it does not have any flaws or imperfections. The process is concluded with the branding and varnishing of the frame.”
Doriano Mattellone was born on December 13th 1959 in a family of farmers, in a small village near Udine. His occupation as ‘carpenter’, as he loves to define himself, is rooted into his childhood. During that time, his father opened a small joiner’s workshop: this is the place in which Doriano met the Torre, a large stream in Friuli. It is there that his grandfather taught him how to recognise different types of wood. This is a magical place having an enormous influence on both his personal and professional life. For instance, he built up Mattellone Company close to this stream, born as an off-shoot of Lesem Snc in 2001. This company now boasts more than twenty years experience in working wood with its several uses. Lately, together with his brother, Daniele, and his sister, Annalisa, Doriano has reinvented and marked the ways in which wood is processed and worked, mainly focusing on bending plywood and hardwood.