Hello, I’m Gian 👋🏻
I’m a London-based event curator, marketer, writer, a Japanophile, and the author of The Craftsman Newsletter.
From artificial to artisanal intelligence
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, anything Artificial Intelligence (AI) related is top of the newscycle. Even my local florist will go to great lengths to share his thoughts on how AI is going to either make us miserable or be the end of the human race. However,
From banal conference badge to collectible item
Throwback to 2010 when I was leading marketing and communications at the PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam during the day, and the Conference Director of Frontiers of Interaction in Rome at night. The first decade of the 2000s had been a fervent period for innovative media-tech-creativity conferences to rise and refresh
Slow prosperity: empathy and (small) business
On April 14th 2023 I hosted an online session called “Slow prosperity: Empathy and Business” with 6th generation Japanese master craftsman Takahiro Yagi of Kaikado. Kaikado has been making tea caddies - 茶筒, chazutsu - since 1875. The wide-ranging conversation followed some of the topics covered in Taka’s book,
The connection between maker and owner
"So somewhere along the line, I’ve switched from being a consumer to an owner. Or maybe even a custodian, if I look after them well enough to pass them on to my children: not inconceivable the way they’re going."
The humble yunomi
The yunomi is the workhorse of Japanese teaware. It’s the cup where you’ll be offered tea at a shop, a restaurant, an office or when visiting someone’s home. You’ll find it in daily use by people of all classes and backgrounds.
The Ukrainian Tryzub
Ivan Hryhorchuk of Viter Ceramics is a young Ukrainian potter whose work is inspired by Japanese ceramics and tea culture. As a fellow Japanophile, I found his teaware very relatable and bought some of it in 2019. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022, Ivan’s life and that
This morning I did a sloppy job at transferring new matcha tea from its original container onto a tea caddy using a sift that was wider than the opening of the caddy.
Traditions: from copying to rebellion to transcendence
When we think about traditional craft objects, the first image that comes to mind is that of old things, vintage looks, nostalgia and remote origin stories. However, traditions are living entities. They have to be born before they get a chance to establish themselves, they grow and evolve, and sometimes
WIP: new website
I moved my website gchicco.com (this one!) to a new platform (Ghost) and I’m in the process of transferring content from the old version. It contained articles, work news and photos spanning over 15 years… tempus fugit! Reviewing all that content is proving to be quite cathartic and
I fell down a moon jar rabbit hole
Moon jars are a classic Korean form usually made of milky white porcelain resembling a full moon floating over a rice field.
Third-wave coffee oasis in Milan
Onest Milano, a cafe-osasis in Italy, oscillates between serving specialty coffee during the day and wine in the evenings, both accompanied by delicate good food. They pride themselves in putting sustainability and traceability at the top of their offering.
Are you a collector or a maker?
I'm what you guys call a User. - Kevin Flynn, Tron (1982) 'Are you a collector or a maker?' a chatty chap asked me during a ceramics exhibition a few months ago. He then went on to tell me how proud he was of his Japanese collection. 'I’m