A refined wielder of the chaser, creator of jewellery for the best-known Italian fashion houses and restorer of ancient treasures kept in churches and museums, Franco Blumer was born in Bergamo 60 years ago. After taking a diploma in Goldsmithing, Chasing and Engraving at the CAPAC (Polytechnic of Trade and Tourism) in Milan in 1977, he embarked on an apprenticeship in the studio of the sculptor and chaser Giancarlo Fecchio in Venice.
Jewelry - Silversmithing - Goldsmithing
He worked on interventions for the conservation of numerous works made of silver, bronze and wood of both a secular and a religious nature on behalf of illustrious clients, refining his grasp of the techniques of repoussé, chasing and sculpting in wood and bronze. At the end of the Venetian experience, he underwent further training at the artistic foundry of Gianni Gurato, from 1984 to 1989, collaborating on restorations and the creation of church ornaments alongside the restorer Manlio Sironi. As a result he became interested in antique sacred art and learned methods that had fallen into disuse, such as gilding with mercury amalgam and burnishing with agate stone on metal. For many years he devoted himself in his workshop to the conservation and restoration of metal artefacts, antique goldwork, church ornaments, ivories, monumental bronzes, archaeological finds, stained glass, objects made of rock crystal, weapons and armour.
The workshop’s strategies of intervention are the product of thorough analytical research and the artistic skills and scientific expertise acquired by Blumer. Numerous important metal objects belonging to public and private collections have passed through his expert hands. On commission from the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, the vestry board of Milan Cathedral, he has restored the beautiful 17th-century urn containing the remains of St Charles Borromeo. The craftsman and his assistants also make metal furnishings using refined techniques of repoussé, chasing and engraving. In 2007 he received the ‘Lombardia Eccellenza Artigiana’ award for his work as a goldsmith in the Precious Metals – Crafts and Traditional category.