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The Woodturning Museum and the VCO household tradition

Our company is located within the City of Pettenasco where there is the Woodturning Art Museum. The structure has recently found premises in the turning of the Roggia Molinara, not before being the subject of a deep and thorough recovery and restoration plan, which may offer visitors interesting insights into the tools, utensils, machinery and objects from the old factories. The museum is part of the Eco-museum of Lake Orta and Mottarone, a project that started thanks to the funds allocated by the Regione Piemonte (LR 31/95). The economic contributions have indeed facilitated the creation of a close network of partnerships between the Pro loco, the museums and local tourist offices, to the emergence of Eco-museums. At present, the recovery of material culture and old traditions with the resulting landscape changes can be considered the easily achieved objectives of this cultural model.

Particularly in the latter half of the 19th century the Woodturning Museum tradition began when the old water mills, powered by the Roggia Molinara derived from Pescone, changed into factories for woodturning, leveraging the hydraulic strength. Here, skilled turners, in dialect called "gratagamul" - grater woodworm - produced wooden goods mainly intended for domestic use (from spoons to components for the construction of furniture). Then, hydropower replaced the electrical one and new items such as toys, mannequins and furniture were produced until the 70s, laying the groundwork for a wider district of modern production of household in the near area of Verbano Cusio Ossola.

Over the years, with its high degree of specialization the district became the industry benchmark for the production of kitchen and table manufactured goods and utensils (pots, cutlery and accessories). It made history in the world of the design in the last century. Production is mainly focused on metal artefacts and tools for the kitchen and the table and the main economic players are some large enterprises around which gravitate small and micro-enterprises as well family businesses. Recent research shows how we can consider VCO as a leader in this industry, with 27% of national production of steel pots and with almost 50% of national production of wooden items for the kitchen.

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