Today we meet two artists and artisans who inspire me every day with their research, their coherence, their sensitivity, two souls in harmony with nature. I'm about to introduce you Fra and Max and I already know you will like them very much.
Hi Fra and Max you are my favorite couple on Instagram, the first question I want to ask you, because I'm incredibly curious, is: how did you meet?
Our story begins with the opening of a peeling trunk that belonged to my grandmother. She had been waiting there for years for someone to restore it, but between a “I'm not capable by myself” and a “now I don't have the money to spend on this” I never made up my mind. Until one day fate, which I like to imagine connected through the trunk also to the line of my ancestors, made me find a handwritten flyer advertising restoration and carpentry courses held in an old artisan shop in the historic center of Perugia. I went there and that shop was the one where Max, together with a colleague, still has an association for the recovery and dissemination of old crafts.
In short, an encounter born immediately under the warm and strong energy of the wood element that continues to accompany us today.
Why are you called "Surya the gifts of nature"?
Surya, which means Sun in Hindi, is a tribute to the passion we have in common for India and celebrates the special bond we both feel towards this planet: the heat, the fire, the energy, the enthusiasm that makes us burn inside. and moves our life certainly belong to him.
The gifts of nature, on the other hand, because it was immediately clear to us that we would only work with those materials that nature had decided to give us, leaving them as pure as possible, following the natural rhythm of the seasons, without causing any kind of damage to Mother Earth. .
How was your passion for the forest and nature born and grown?
Max: I live the relationship with the energetic and magical world of nature in a spontaneous and intuitive way for as long as I can remember. Years of experiences in the woods have brought me from the mountains behind the house where as a kid I built tree houses, to the Himalayas or the Moroccan highlands, just me, the tent (sometimes not even that) step by step where my instinct took me . In my years in India, at night in my sleeping bag under the stars I felt the connection with the earth, as well as when I slept among the roots of my old friend chestnut, a centuries-old tree to which I am particularly attached.
Fra: I have always loved the symbolic and mystical aspect of nature. Meditating in the aura of a tree, celebrating the seasons, training myself to perceive the subtle energies of the small people in which I firmly believe: these are practices that have accompanied me for many years. With Max I have had and continue to have those wild experiences that I missed, such as walking in the woods at night, meeting wild animals or sleeping in isolated tents, just us and the sounds of the forest around. For me it is putting my true nature into practice, coming into ever deeper contact with this world that I love so much.
When did you decide to make a job of it?
When the house started to be too full of objects!
Seriously, we started because we discovered that we were both fascinated by the world of artisan markets and we had always wondered: "who knows how it is on the other side of the stand?". So we made our first market together, with the tables remedied here and there and a lot of emotion.
We have not stopped since Surya is not just a job for us but a life path through which to convey a message of care and respect towards the world of nature and everything that surrounds us.
How is your creative work divided between you? Is there someone who brings the ideas or do they arise from your synergy?
The design, the ideas, are certainly born from both, since we got together it has been like this. Ours is a relationship "of doing" and we were able to bring out talents and skills from each other that were just waiting to be seen and recognized.
The division is on the practical side: Max, with years of experience in craftsmanship in his hands, takes care of everything that is construction and assembly. He is "the man of solutions", who always finds a way to realize ideas. While on a practical level I do small things, the pyrography, the dyeing of the paper, the decorations and I manage all the great work of communication.
Is there a job that you are particularly attached to or that made you feel particularly inspired in doing so?
Actually no, everything flows at the right time and every time we feel inspired in a different but always all-encompassing way.
Which of you two is more concrete and who has the head in the clouds?
Let's say that in his work Max is much more precise and fussy, he knows that things done well need their time and, knowing the technical part of the procedures, he knows if something can be done or not.
In life, however, we are both great dreamers, we have built over the years, even before knowing each other, a lifestyle outside the tight meshes of society and we live as much as possible in our world. Sometimes we find it a bit difficult to deal with everyday life.
Describe your typical day.
They are very simple days, which we always try to live in love and awareness. As soon as he wakes up, Max lights an incense on our altar and we do what in India is called the puja, that is, we thank nature, the teachers, the angels, the guiding spirits, the ancestors and everything that is important to us. Sometimes we do a little meditation or some breaths. Then we work together at home all morning while Max goes to the shop in the afternoon. In the evening we chat, play with cats, sweet presences always with us. Sometimes we like to listen to music and dance, sometimes we read, sometimes we watch a series. We laugh a lot. Before going to sleep, there is always a little thought of gratitude for the day just passed.
As soon as we can then we go into the woods, even there with our rituals and our way of being.
Tell us an anecdote about your relationship with nature.
Oh for us, every outing is an adventure, little magical things always happen to us in the woods ...
The rising of the full moon on a summer night when we slept with the tent in an immense beech forest; while the trees turned to silver, the beam of light illuminated the running of a fawn right next to us ... The storm that caught us at the top of the Alpe della Luna several kilometers from the end of the path; the fear of thunder, lightning and hail that were unleashed but then letting oneself go to the power of nature, trusting and descending by sliding on the mud that reached our ankles singing "Surfin 'Usa" ... The little whirlwind, for sure a sprite, who came to ruffle our hair and thoughts on the crest of a mountain.
Even through these natural phenomena we feel that nature speaks to us and all these are treasures that we keep in the heart.
What secret have you learned from the trees?
That the key to communication is listening. And it is possible to do this with them through contact
And now some curious questions:
-a place where you feel at home: Mount Tezio, a mountain ten minutes from our home where Max grew up and where we take refuge as often as possible. It was there that we went the first time we went out alone together.
- a tree that you particularly love: the centuries-old chestnut tree that is found right in those woods.
-the name of your cats: Ilne, diminutive of Il Nero (Black), the witch's magical cat, Mucchi, the alien cat in communication with other worlds and Popone, a sweet giant cat weighing more than 8 kilos.
-Tell a night dream: Fra: one that I had just a couple of days ago, I was at the wedding of two dear friends, they were holding hands and everyone was singing. I was crying and crying with happiness and I felt that all the ugliness of the world melted in those tears ... I feel that there is so much need for inner cleansing at this moment ...
Max, on the other hand, is very busy with a project that we are carrying out precisely in this period and at night he dreams of assemblies and joints!
-the music you prefer: it depends on the moments but if we had to give a definition we would say music that inspires and conveys joy. When we work we often listen to mantras or Indian sacred music to make the energies of the words enter with their vibratory frequency in the objects we create.