Not a long time ago I published a post about my trip in Friuli and I mentioned a beautiful place I visited on that occasion, L’Oca Bianca e Altre Storie. I liked it so much that I decided to dedicate an entire post to describe it to you. L’Oca Bianca is a tiny crafts atelier just outside of San Daniele del Friuli.
L’Oca Bianca Angels
The most known and beloved creations of the shop are the so called angels. These angels are not necessarily connected to a religious concept. In fact I’m not religious but I was completely captivated by those angels and their messages of love, kindness and hope – something we all need.
And I was also impressed by the founder Alda Rita and her energetic aura. She started it all after receiving a wooden angel as a gift by a friend. That shape stroke a chord with her so much that she began dreaming about these angles. So she decided to produce her own angels, accompanying them with a meaningful message (she is the author of all the verses).
Little by little the work increased and so she hired new collaborators. Now they are ten, if I’m not wrong, all women. Just to give you an idea: the angels produced in 2001 were twenty, in 2006 five hundred, in 2013 seven thousand. This year more than 16.000. You can find their angels in many different shops throughout Europe… and also Australia. In Padova, for example, you can find some angels in a little shop called Laura (like me) located near Piazza della Frutta.
Angel of Aunts
I must confess that some of the messages written on the angels moved me, like the Angel of Aunts. I’m a proud aunt, so…
Angel of the Aunts, second mothers of the heart, of joyful sharing, of strong affection, of travels into gentle understanding and of generous gestures.
Angel of Travellers
I’m sure that you will all love the message of the Angel of the Travellers.
Angel for those who travel in life, following the path of dreams. For those who free their mind form the swamps of routine and have the courage to try, discover and love.
Alda Rita and the other creators told us that once this seemed the fairies workshop. They could work with calm, producing those angles and other objects full of magic. Now the orders have multiplied so they have to work on a tight schedule in order to satisfy the requests. Therefore they must be strictly organized. Each piece of the angels is handmade separately and then assembled with care. The atelier was full of boxes, sequins, little pieces of wood with different shapes, cardboards, ribbons, beads, cloths of every colour.
The importance of self-presents
Other than the angels, the shop keeps many other handmade treasures: bijoux, ornaments, mugs, lamp-books (you can see some in the photos), made by them or by partner artisan brands (like some coats made in Piemonte, oh my God! They were adorable!). I ended up buying a necklace that seemed perfect for me, with a fox and a dragonfly. I let the kind Caterina prepare a gift wrap for me, so that I could open it at Christmas. Every year I make myself a gift, I call it self-gift (autoregalo in Italian). Who can possibly get me the perfect present, if not me?
If you’re near San Daniele and you love bijoux, home décor and the poetry that lies in handmade objects, I strongly suggest you a tour in this charming shop.
L’Oca Bianca e Altre Storie
Via Fagagna 1, San Daniele del Friuli (Udine)