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Hetta Hearths

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13 January 1915. In a small Italian town near L'Aquila, 23-year-old Giuseppe Ciofani, son of a stonemason, was going home from a nearby quarry. He was looking for the perfect boulder for his father. He stopped because he suddenly realized that he could not hear the birds singing. There was something disturbing about the silence...


Giuseppe felt the first tremors. The ground rippled and then began to tremble violently. The earth became soft and he saw himself falling into a crack. He had nothing to grab onto and nothing offered a firm foothold. He was helpless and terrified. He surrendered to the movements of the earth. He lay down, shielding his head with his hands. And prayed.

When the shaking stopped, he got out of the crack in the ground and ran towards the city. On the way, he passed fallen houses, cracked walls and squares full of potholes. It was a terrible sight. He ran home as fast as he could. When he arrived, he found... death. He saw the dead bodies of his mother, father and two sisters. It was his last day in L Aquila. He got on his horse and rode away...


After two years of wandering, he arrived at a nature reserve in the Silesian town of Murcki in Poland. Here he met Julia, his future wife, and started a family. A big family. He loved to sit around the fire in the evenings and talk with his children, then his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He celebrated and cherished these moments because he felt best when the whole family was close. He never returned to Italy. His two daughters and his son returned. His third daughter, Gilda, my great-grandmother, stayed in Poland.

My name is Tomo Ciofani. Ever since I can remember, our family has gathered around the fire. These were important and wonderful moments for me.


When I grew up, I became an architect. I wanted to create beautiful buildings, but in architecture, beauty doesn't come easy. Because you don't have time. And beauty needs time. It needs inspiration, revision, polishing and perfecting of the original version. While the investor is in a hurry. He has no time.

I wanted to design beautiful buildings. But I couldn't. So I was thinking about creating something that would be mine and that would be beautiful. And people would buy it because it moved them. And so I created the hearth, and history came full circle. I came back to fire, to stone and to the moments with my family.

I place my work into your hands. May it also create your story.

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