Il Tornitore Matto – a unique savoir faire in all things metal, demonstrating its versatility

Celebrating metal with The Mad Turner – Il Tornitore Matto. From homeware to tabletop objects, Alessi introduces its nostalgic view on the material while exploring future possibilities.

Alessi presents Il Tornitore Matto (The Mad Turner) at EDIT Napoli 2023 – a refreshing new brand led by Alberto Alessi and coordinated by Giulio Iacchetti that celebrates the company’s unique savoir faire in all things metal, demonstrating its versatility with the material.

Born in Omegna in 1921 by Giovanni Alessi, the brand developed a design excellence policy that took it to the forefront of Italian Design Factories at an international level and over the years it has produced thousands of objects, many of which have become icons of design. 

Il Tornitore Matto
Il Tornitore Matto

Till date, it has collaborated with over 300 world-famous designers and architects – Alessi was able to bring together industrial requirements typical of its sector with its soul as applied arts research lab. 

Il Tornitore Matto nostalgically offers a look at Alessi’s past while exploring future possibilities and metal – in just over a century, the company has developed a distinctive approach to working with metal, reaching high levels of refinement in all its projects, seamlessly blended with the unique creative approach of Alberto Alessi and some of today’s most celebrated creative minds.

Il Tornitore Matto
Il Tornitore Matto

This truly one-of-a-kind innovative project in particular is based on the lathe, the brand’s original machinery utilized in the factory to beautifully craft metal objects ever since Alberto Alessi’s grandfather Giovanni worked in the workshop over a century ago. 

Alberto Alessi references the Wiener Werkstatte (a constant source of inspiration for his work for the refined approach to applied arts) as well as the Mad Hatter (an invitation to himself and his collaborators to explore their creativity without boundaries) – together, these influences effortlessly demonstrate Alessi’s constant ability to weave together poetry with the industrial process.

Embodying a series of eclectic domestic objects from homeware to tabletop items – Il Tornitore Matto is designed by a groundbreaking multigenerational group of international creatives working across disciplines, chosen by Alberto Alessi and Giulio Iacchetti such as Michael Anastassiades, Federico Angi, Andrea Branzi, Pierre Charpin, Michele De Lucchi, Naoto Fukasawa, Paolo Ulian, Nika Zupanc and Iacchetti himself.

Il Tornitore Matto
Il Tornitore Matto

Il Tornitore Matto, in the own words of Alessi

“I decided to commence this design exploration – which is also the start of a new brand called Il Tornitore Matto (The Mad Turner) – because examining origins seems to be a useful road toward the future.

I’ve always been fascinated by the lathe. At Alessi, this tool lies at the origin of our trade as metalworkers. In the early 20th century my grandfather Giovanni was a skilled turner and until the 1940’s, the spin-forming of sheet metal was the typical process at Alessi. Then gradually, spinning was substituted by deep drawing in a horizontal press. At any rate, at a certain point in my life, I understood that I, too, would like to learn the craft of the turner and took lessons from a talented turner named Ivano, the only one still working at the factory.

I think that the lathe was the first machine ever used by humans to produce objects. I am in awe of the humanizing and intimate dimension of this work. Each artisan has a large set of tools to guide the metal disk against the shape and these tools are made specifically to correspond to each artisan’s stature and strength. Anyone else would not be able to use those tools with the same efficacy. I’m additionally attracted to the rotating movement. Like the Earth and the planets of the Universe, the lathe further uses rotating shapes!” shares Alessi.


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