Davide and Carlo: the young artisan blacksmiths

Amina De Biasio
A hard and challenging material like iron requires a tender and tenacious artisan: at Sottoguda they use fire to shape the iron ore and create real works of art. Cedron roosters, swallows, butterflies, owls and dragons are just a few examples of what emerges from the De Biasio family's fosina or forge. You can't miss a visit to this hub of creativity, right in the Heart of the Dolomites, where blacksmith's can transform their ideas into reality with a little fire, a few blows of the hammer and a bit of painting.

Wrought iron has a long history in the village of Sottoguda; beginning in 1923, when Carlo De Biasio, returned from his apprenticeship in nearby Val Gardena, opened the doors of his “fosina”, or forge, still active today. From that day on, years of innovation and art have emerged the foot of the Marmolada. Today we can still admire his successors cleverly working this hard and challenging material to create works of art.

Today, brothers De Biasio, Carlo and Davide, are Sottoguda’s two young blacksmiths, they have remained the only ones to work the iron according to their grandfather’s traditional methods, which respect high standards of quality and uniqueness. Carlo tells us that today, the blacksmith’s role is almost obsolete, and today, most of his work is artistic. The days of changing locks or making nails and tools for the people in the village are over. In fact, in the Heart of the Dolomites, the forge in Sottoguda is the last one that remains active and is famous not only in Val Pettorina but also in the neighbouring valleys.

Growing up in a family of artists is an excellent advantage for those who also want to embark on this type of profession and Carlo and Davide are very proud of their job today. Hitting the hammer on a hot iron is a simple gesture, but great passion and a profound meaning lie behind it. Giving shape to an idea, making it real and tangible is a gift and a mission for Carlo and Davide, who aim to create beauty and make it available for everyone, without renouncing tradition and manual skill. These days we increasingly realise the value of these crafts that we risked losing in the name of progress.

Some objects arrive directly from the blacksmith’s imagination, others from the requests of clients; also guests to the valley often take home a piece of wrought iron in the shape of a ladybug, a swallow, or a butterfly as a souvenir. And this is how a small part of Sottoguda, from the Heart of the Dolomites, goes on to conquer the world, symbolising sharing, culture, tradition and discovery.