Il Miglior Fabbro


So DJ shows me a picture and says “What do you think of this tool chest?”

I glance at the picture: it’s a neatly finished Anarchist’s Tool chest painted in de rigeur Bible black with all the trimmings. Nice.

Nonchalantly, he shows me another pic’ of the interior: Equally good. Bang tidy in fact.

IMG_6910I’m beginning to think these are shots of Chris Schwarz’ own chest but empty of tools. Even the hinges are clocked North-South which really does make me think this is the Schwarzmeister’s own. Then another: the chest next to a sweet Roubo bench.  A nice, low tone shot of Chris’s shop I think. The bench has tools scattered on it and some shavings.

Then he pulls the rug from under my feet: In the next picture of the chest some joker has slid a giant copy of ‘the Anarchist’s Tool Chest’ into shot.  The penny then drops…this is a miniature.  Not like any miniature you or I have ever seen before.  It is perfectly in scale and it is made by an outrageously talented maker called Marco Terenzi.


Marco spent an incredible 400 hours making this 1/4 scale chest and he did it in one month. In. One. Month. He completed the final stretch in 30 straight hours. Just stop and think about that for a minute…. Are you feeling like a thoroughbred slacker now? Trust me: I am and so are you.

Not only did he make the damned chest but he also made an entire series of miniature tools to make it and a Roubo bench to sit it next to. Some parts are so thin that you can see light through the dovetails.

Marco lives and works in Detroit but having seen this chest we could not do anything other than bring Marco and this incredible work of art over to meet Chris Schwarz. We were not sure who was more bowled over.  One thing was for sure: when he saw the chest it was the first time either DJ or I found Chris lost for words.

But here is the real kicker: not only is Marco the most extravagantly talented maker it has ever been my privilege to shake the hand of, not only is he cranking out incredible pieces like this day in, day out….but he is just 24 years old.  When I asked him when he had started making objects like this he replied simply ‘I can’t remember not making things like this’.

The writer T.S. Eliot had a phrase that he used for his friend, the poet Ezra Pound. Eliot called him Il Miglior Fabbro: The Master Craftsman.  I cannot think of a better phrase: although Marco is far too humble to admit it, he is already Il Miglior Fabbro.

This incredible build will be featured in several up-coming issues of Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine and frankly I am practically salivating in anticipation. There will be a few more pictures to follow in the coming week but to get the full story lookout for the magazine…for now enjoy these few shots.

Remember:  This is Marco Terenzi’s world. We just live in it…

–  Paul Mayon



6 thoughts on “Il Miglior Fabbro

  1. I didn’t get to talk to Chris at dinner on Mon. night, but an ample consolation prize was to spend over an hour talking to Marco. What a talent and what an extremely nice and personable young man. Definitely a rising star.

  2. Il Miglior Fabbro: The Master Craftsman goes way back to Roman times when Vitruvious commented there were two types of builders: Homo faber and Home mechanicus. Il Miglior Fabbro: The Master Craftsman carries forward this concept as should we all as we build a new Age of Discovery.
    Richard O. byrne

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