Pietra was raised in Torino, Italy, but remained close to her family's native Sicily. Growing up in a region so diverse and historic gave her an early love of all things artistic and beautiful, as well as a deep appreciation of quality craftsmanship. Encouraged to
be practical by her hardworking parents, she never failed to nurture her artistic side, even in difficult circumstances. Many a night, after finishing her regular chores and homework, she would work on an artistic project into the wee hours of the morning. Where many people would have given up, Pietra made the conscious decision to pursue what she loved. She graduated with honors with a degree in accounting to please her parents and then pursued her own goal of becoming an artist.
Pietra uses natural elements such as semi-precious stones, fossils, crystals, minerals, metals and wood. These earthy, yet contemporary pieces are created through many long hours of careful cutting, piecing and hand carving. Much attention is paid to even the smallest detail and a great deal of time is spent on compositional arrangement. Sometimes inspiration comes quickly, but often it is the result of deep contemplation and hours of thoughtful designing.
Pietra has won many awards for her work; Calgary Stampede - Best Artisan, Naperville Fine Art Fair - Best of Show, Castle Rock Artfest - Best of Fine Art, Fountain Hills Fine Art & Wine Affaire - Featured Artist, Hockaday Arts in the Park - Best of Show, Whitefish Arts Festival - Best of Show, Tempe Festival of the Arts - Best in Category, Art in Kayenta - Best of Show.
However, to her, the greatest reward is being able to do what she loves, and do it together with her husband. Many years ago when they decided to work full time as artists, they realized that they would never be rich in the worldly sense, but rather, rich in the way they live their lives. This is a sentiment that they hope that they can share with their five children, as well as with each person that collects their art.
Each piece of artwork contains a story and a tribute.
Their stories begin with the inspiring fossils, crystals, gemstones, and minerals formed thousands and sometimes millions of years ago whose histories we can only speculate about. The unique mystique of these materials then motivates all the motions that follow.
When I travel to handpick the stones, I have to decide which elements will play leading roles and which will support. I then undertake the task of transforming a beautiful stone into a piece of art.
Through a lot of curiosity, exploration, and experimentation I have developed my own techniques of hand-carving, sculpting, painting, firing, texturing, cutting, and crafting the woods, metals, and clays I incorporate into each piece. The resulting structures render layers of interest to the piece.
Even with the best stones and techniques I cannot call it quality artwork without good design. This is the most challenging and most gratifying step in the journey; attempting to express the meaning and emotion I feel, through movement, color, texture, and dimension. This step can come together all at once or after a lot of working and reworking until I feel satisfied.
Finally, the painstakingly precise process of a quality construction completes each piece. At that point it has taken on a life of its own and is open to all for their own individual interpretations.