claudio botteroSince he was a child he started his training at his father’s workshop, as also his father was a blacksmith. It is in this place that his great passion for the iron forge works born and where he started learning the iron work methods. He showed great abilities, overall drawing abilities, fundamental for his future work. During his adolescence he also met various painters from Torreselle, which passed their enthusiasm and passion for the arts to Claudio. From 1981 to 1987 he worked under the influence of his guide Toni Benetton, one of the most important representative of iron sculpture in the XX century, in his workshop in Mogliano Veneto (Treviso). During this period he also met Joseph Muck, a famous Czech blacksmith and restorer; among his works it is important to remember the renovation of Prague well and astronomical clock, as well as other important monuments in Prague and surroundings. Joseph has been really important in introducing Claudio to new realities and methods in the iron world. Thanks to Joseph, in 1981 Claudio had also the possibility to visit the famous Arts and Crafts School in Turnov, in the north of Prague, and the State Master’s School in Prague, which in that years was directed by Rudolph Polak.

In these visits he was fascinated by the interest these schools gave to the research and contemporary iron art, aspects that he still pursues in his works. Claudio has also been friend of the late lamented Alfred Habermann, famous Czech blacksmith and master in the School for the Artistic Heritage Preservation in San Servolo, an island of the Venice lagoon. In 1990 Claudio participated for the first time at the blacksmiths’ meeting Hefaiston on Helfstyn Castle in the CzechRepublic, where he presented his works. Since then he has been back several times and has won various awards. Claudio’s last visit in Helfstyn has been in 2009, when he executed the sculpture “Wind Blow” for the forum. Since 1994 he has been employing trainees from various countries for a period of time. According to two Czech blacksmith, who worked by him, “when you work for Claudio, roller-skates grow to your feet”. Since 1995 he has participated to the European Biennial of the Blacksmiths in Stia, village in the province of Arezzo inItaly. His last participation has taken place in September 2011.

From 2000 Claudio has enlarged his views in the iron world, taking part for the first time to an American manifestation, the ABANA Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona. In 2009 the CBA has invited him to Petaluma,California, in order to create a sculpture, named “Casanova”. In 2011 he has participated at the CBA demonstration by Michael Bondi’s workshop where one of his latest sculptures, “Diomeda”, born.

He has not only participated in various art exhibitions and conferences, he also has been invited in three exhibition dedicated to him; the first time in 2000 in Asolo, in 2003 in Treviso, both cities in the region Veneto, and finally in 2010 in Brussels’ private gallery. In 2011 another exhibition took place at Tour Madou, seat of the European Commission, with the works of five masters who performed in Helfstyn (Czech Republic).The same year, in December, some of his bowls were exposed at the International Contemporary Art and Design at Habermann Gallery in Ybbsitz (Austria).

Beside the great importance of the exhibitions in Claudio’s profession, he also has executed several works at the request of various cities; it could be mentioned the cannon restoration for the castle of the city Sovinec in the CzechRepublic in 1997. Moreover he has collaborated in the creation of a fountain in Sonthofen (Germany) in 2003. Also various Italian cities has asked for his works: in 2009 has taken part in a work for Mercato Saraceno, in the provinceof Forlì, and in 2010 has created two street lamps for the city of Guardiagrelle, in the region Abruzzo.

Claudio has also appeared in print in some specialized books, among which it must be mentioned:

  • Elgass Peter, Metal Design International 2003
  • Ciscato Giuseppe, The magic of Italian wrought iron, 2003
  • Mathew S. Clarke, From Fire to Form, 2008

Since 2008 he also has started teaching, first of all in Sicily, where he directed a course for the Artist Blacksmith Association, and then in the Academy of Fine Art in Anderlecht (Belgium).Since 2010 has also started giving courses in the International Iron Academy, located in the ex-atelier of Toni Benetton, in Mogliano Veneto (Italy). In the same year Claudio created a new educational programm for blacksmith in Stia (Toscana) organised by the same association of the European Biennial of Blacksmiths. This program is composed by various step-courses divided in several levels and has the aim of developing blacksmiths’ knowledges. Since 2011 it’s open also to foreign students. In June 2011 Claudio were invited by Penland School of Crafts (North Carolina) to held a summer session course. The main product of this course, created with his students, along with “Icarus”, another sculpture originally made for Penland’s Annual Benefit Auction, are now located at the Metal Museum in Memphis (Tennessee).

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