Ian Berry X Tonello / by Ian Berry

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Ian Berry's Secret Garden at the Children's Museum of the Arts in New York would not have been possible without the kind and expert help of Tonello in Italy.

For 35 years they have been a reference point for the most important laundry and dyeing companies and for fashion brands all over the world. And now for artist Ian Berry. And we would like to place our thanks for their support.

We have been researching, experimenting and innovating since 1981. And we do much more than just build ‘machines’.

Forever evolving their Technology, together with the market, they are making always reliable, safe and sustainable technology that respects the environment and that consumes less energy, few additives, and indeed little of everything. They are behind ever improving production processes all without compromising on quality

Their garment finishing machines have become established over the world for the quality of their all-Italian manufacture, and for their flexibility and top-level performance. Everything that runs through the company has the thoughts of sustainability and the environment in mind and this combined with their creativity is what drew Ian and Tonello together.

 photo by  Lucinda Grange

Ian had known about the Laser Technology for some time, but considered it cheating, away from his all hand made art. But as larger and larger installations came about as well as noticing the advanced tech he had a change of heart.

'I've always been proud to say, it's made by just denim, glue and hands with scissors in, no bleach, no dye, no paint. It's been a very time consuming process making the work I do. I also saw the laser machine at first with its burnt marks and often looking flat. However, with the washing techniques of someone like Tonello it can really come alive. For me its an art form in itself. After meeting Alice Tonello and Alberto Lucchin a few times we thought it was a perfect time to look into how this could help in my art. Now I see it as a no brainer for things like this, and beside, its the tools that the denim industry is increasingly using so I can too.'

Ian is all too aware of the negative impacts of the denim industry on our planet and is pleased to have worked with a company such as Tonello who is working towards a brighter blue future with methods aimed to help the environmental impact. At their base in Italy Ian had the special Cone Denim washed and lasered with effects to create texture and then lasered much of what you see in the Trellis that hung from the Secret Garden. It would have taken Ian months to hand cut it all, 'beside, it wouldn't have stayed together.' Ian adds

'it is nice that it all went into creating something that environmentally is symbolic and pure, like plants and flowers. Matching the sustainable message, but also in a kids museum, that is the future and that is the future we want, a cleaner one for the future generations. But with the Creative Room, Tonello is all about sharing knowledge and education so I think they have been a perfect partner in this project.'

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Tonello's Nicola Cioffi working on Ian's designs. Don't worry, these flames went down.

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Ian with Alice Tonello, marketing and R&D head at Tonello and Flavio Tonello CEO Tonello at the Creative Room in Italy.

 Tonello's Nicola Cioffi finding another purpose for Ian's designs.

Tonello's Nicola Cioffi finding another purpose for Ian's designs.

The Creative Room at Tonello

The Creative Room in Sarcedo, Italy is a special place and a great idea, where technology and creatives can meet from all over the world. Ian visiting a couple of times in the Fall and was welcomed and amazed.

"Inspiring" is both the place – Tonello's new Creative Area – and a way of "being Tonello" today. It is the meeting point between technology and creativity, production and research. Tonello's creations and their experiments will find more and more space: to help clients discover the effects and treatments the machines and technology and to allow customers to undertand how to get the best out of their advanced equipment and to conceive fabrics, denim in particular, as 'canvases on which to paint dreams'.

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Ian went to Tonello in Italy, in a region famed for denim and both times Ian was amazed to see the denim names walking through, here with Giovanni Petrin (and Alice Tonello), expert denim insider and former general manager of the Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili Italian specialized laundry and finishing company, who is now working for Crescent Bahuman Ltd (CBL), one of the major denim and garment manufacturers in Pakistan. It is great there is a place that is a melting pot for all these people.