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©Alexandre Dhordain
©Alexandre Dhordain
©Alexandre Dhordain
©All rights reserved

Daniel Mauceri

  • Puppet maker
  • Syracuse, Italy
  • Master Artisan
Daniel Mauceri Puppet maker
Contact
Italian, English
Hours:
Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 12:30/16:00 - 19:00
Phone:
+39 3333086316
©All rights reserved

A fairy tale of papier-mâché

  • • Daniel learnt the craft from his grandfather
  • • Each of his puppets can endure 400 shows per year
  • • His creations are sold all over the world

Daniel Mauceri reminisces – with a tear in his eye – about how his love for puppet making was born: “My story started in the 70s when my grandfather Alfredo Vaccaro and his brother Rosario, both skilled papier-mâché artists, got together to build the ‘pupi’, the traditional Sicilian puppets. On 5 July 1978, in Syracuse, they had their debut show. And it was a huge success.” His mother, Francesca, was the scriptwriter for the family business and the young Daniel grew up with pasta and puppets – as he puts it. When he was a child, he wasn’t allowed to touch the materials or the tools. So, he used to steal metal scraps, transforming his childhood bedroom into a small workshop. Eventually Alfredo gave in and taught his grandson a few things, however he sadly died when Daniel was only 13, so Daniel was left to learn the rest by himself. Over 25 years and 230 puppets later he’s still in love with this profession – his grandfather would be very proud.

Read the full interview

Works

  • ©Christian Cifali
  • ©Christian Cifali
  • ©Alexandre Dhordain
  • ©Christian Cifali
  • ©Christian Cifali
Photo: ©Christian Cifali
Avolio

This handcrafted marionette represents the character of Avolio. The armour of this Sicilian puppet is inspired by the famous ceramic motifs typical of eastern Sicily. The peculiarity of this work is the unchiselled copper. The surface has been left purposely smooth so that it can be painted on with oil colours, highlighting the baroque decorations on a white enamel base.

Height 55 cm

Photo: ©Christian Cifali
Grifone

Grifone il bianco responds to the idea of creating something original by revisiting tradition. The marionette is armoured in copper enamelled in matt white and antiqued. The metal is decorated with reliefs embossed on a stake. The face, as is the tradition in Arezzo, is made of papier-mâché painted with acrylics. The rust-coloured clothes highlight the ageing of the metal parts.

Height 80 cm

Photo: ©Alexandre Dhordain
Orlando

Orlando, a marionette handcrafted from wood, papier-mâché, brass and fabric, mixes styles typical of the Middle Ages and Sicilian Baroque. The marionette armour is handcrafted from 42 individual pieces. Each piece of metal is worked on according to traditional puppetry techniques. The papier-mâché face, painted in acrylics, presents an Orlando without moustache, as is the tradition in Syracuse. The frame is made of pine and beech wood.

Height 80 cm

Photo: ©Christian Cifali
Orlando

This younger Orlando marionette shows a face made strictly of papier-mâché, with an internal framework of pine and beech wood. The armour, particularly elegant in this version, is dominated by the metal used, nickel silver, enriched by brass cords that adorn the various parts of the metal. His emblem stands out on his chest: the eagle, as well as on his helmet, in the same pose as the coat of arms of the city of Syracuse.

Height 80 cm

Photo: ©Christian Cifali
Rinaldo

Rinaldo, in his medieval armour, is recognisable by the serpentine sword he holds. The papier-mâché and acrylic-painted marionette’s face emphasise the character's aged beauty. The golden yellow mantle and plumage highlight the chiselling work carried out on the nickel silver parts with brass inserts, such as the lion on the chest and helmet, Rinaldo's distinguishing emblem.

Height 80 cm

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