Luigi Mecella was born in Fabriano (Italy) in 1956. After beginning his working career in another field, in 1985 Mecella joined the craft paper mill at the Paper and Watermark Museum, learning the art of papermaking under the guidance of skilled master craftsmen with over forty years experience at the Fabriano Paper Mills. Having accomplished the craft, in 1990 Mecella registered with the Ancona Chamber of Commerce as a master craftsman skilled in papermaking, hiring two “couchers” to assist him in his work.
To this day, Mecella continues to work at the Paper and Watermark Museum, organising the demonstration, production and learning activities of the museum’s paper mill.
Mecella’s educational work includes the museum workshops entitled “We are All Master Papermakers”, which attract over ten thousand school-age and adult participants every year, along with resident courses in partnership with the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington DC and other international schools and universities. These courses introduce learners to the art of papermaking, from the retting of rags and the creation of personalised watermarks, through to the actual making of paper, including coating and calendering to produce a finished product.
He has set up a workshop for making paper by hand, using a cylinder machine to craft his own line of paper products, sold to leading scriptoria and specialist stationers around the world.
He is handing down his passion for the traditional art of papermaking to his son, Luca, trained in papermaking and a graduate in management engineering, to continue the family business.
One of the twenty craftspeople of excellence named by the publication La nobilità del Fare, Electa Mondadori.