I grew up between New York City and the Eolian island of Lipari. I had a creative upbringing and was immersed in both American and Italian culture which had a huge influence on me becoming an artist. I studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and in 2019 I started Idda Studio as a way to bring my paintings to live through fabric. I love the versatility of fabric, the pieces can be worn as a pareo or a scarf, hung on the wall as a painting or used as decoration in the home. With Idda Studio, I also work on a range of custom interior commissions for residential spaces often bringing my designs to objects, furniture and lighting.
What are you passionate about?
I have many passions from Italian cinema to Baroque architecture to Sicilian cooking to traveling. I draw inspiration from all of these passions and from my identity as a Sicilan female. The name “idda” (meaning “she” or “her” in Sicilian dialect) is a way to celebrate and embrace femininity.
When you work on a project, where do you start from?
I start every project with a concept in mind and am often looking at historical references such as Ancient Roman ruins, mythological deities or Italian folktales. For me the idea and aesthetic drives the work and then the material (whether it’s painting, fabric or ceramics) allows me to be creative and spontaneous.
How would you define your style?
I don’t think my work fits into any one specific style but instead draws reference to many different approaches. For example I am interested in design, art and craft and my works are both sculptural and functional. I also often use vibrant colors, decorative patterns and classic motifs that are reminiscent of the Mediterranean. I love to reference history but also maintain a contemporary approach to my practice.
What inspires you?
I am most inspired by other creative women who are empowered within their own disciplines and fields of work. Some of my favorite artists and biggest inspirations are Niki de Saint Phalle, Georgia O’Keeffe, Nicola L, Françoise Gilot, Patti Smith and Louise Bourgeois. All of these women were pioneering leaders that changed the course of history.
What is your favorite project to date and why?
I work very closely with my partner, who is an architect, on a range of custom commissioned projects for clients’ interior spaces which includes ceramic lamps, tiles, and custom upholstery. I love being able to translate my designs into an immersive space that allows for people to live with the work. Right now I am designing tiles for a custom fireplace.
How would you describe your creative process?
I am very collaborative and love working on partnerships. My work is versatile so I love being able to work with fashion, interior and lifestyle brands.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am excited that I just launched a new line of pillows for the first time! The designs feature original vibrant paintings and are made in Italy on high quality silk. They are versatile and perfect for the home, I am in love with these designs.
In which direction do you see the world of design going?
Right now in a post-covid era, we are in a moment where people are staying at home and looking to invest in their living spaces to make them beautiful and comfortable. I am seeing an increase of residential projects and I know this will only continue. I think art and design are merging together and there is a new interest in craft, the handmade and sustainable design. People want unique design objects that have stories and are made from artists.
How important is Made in Italy for you?
For me, it’s important that my fabric works are ethically sourced and made with the highest quality available. Italian and silk cottons are among the best in the world. Being able to work with Italian craftsmen, artisans and heritage brands not only builds on history but continues to support these companies and the mission of Idda Studio.