Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 64
Like Tree75Likes

Thread: My Mastro Livi 40th birthday experience

  1. #1
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Smile My Mastro Livi 40th birthday experience (pic heavy)

    First Night

    Itís almost impossible to put into words the feeling of excitement and anticipation of arriving in Perugia to meet the great Mastro Livi and have him create a work of art for my 40th birthday.
    It all started almost 6 months ago when I started to give serious consideration to what I should do to celebrate my 40th birthday. Iíd always lusted after one of Mastro Liviís creations but never had the confidence in my convictions of what to design. I saw a fantastic blade that Mastro Livi had created out of his Carbon Damascus steel paired with gorgeous Amboyna wood scales. I now knew what I wanted: complete set of razor, brush and his famous loom strop all with matching handles.
    Iíd read a few different forum threads on SRP. There was of course Lynn Abrams experience of travelling to Perugia to not only buy a Mastro Livi razor but watch it being created but the thread that caught my eye was the one started by Razorguy. It was this eloquent description of his experience that made me want to travel to Italy, meet the famous artisan and watch the birth of my first custom razor.
    I contacted Antonello (Razorguy) and he was more than happy to help me in the process of my discussions with Mastro Livi. Little did I know that this was the start of a fantastic straight razor friendship built on a shared passion for this art/hobby.
    Knowing that Antonello lived in Perugia, I cheekily asked if he wouldnít mind coming along to help me with translating my idea to Mastro Livi. Without hesitating Antonello accepted.
    The day finally arrived for me to fly to Perugia. Antonello advised me not to shave for a couple of days to build up my stubble so I could really enjoy the shave from my new razor.
    I arrived with my girlfriend in Perugia (part of her patience in coming along was we were then travelling to Florence and Verona) and we met Antonello for the very first time. Not only does he have a passion for all things straight razor shaving but he is also a wine journalist first and foremost with a side order of being a gastronomic critic too. We were in for a true Italian culinary treat. Thursday night Antonello took myself and my girlfriend out for traditional Umbrian cuisine. He had one word of warning, there will be a lot of good food. Our taste buds would be singing with joy. To compliment this all, his wide knowledge of wine meant his choice rounded off a very special first evening in Italy.
    I could barely sleep all night with knowing that I was finally going to meet the great artisan in the flesh and spend time in his workshop watching the genesis of my razor.

    Day 1
    We arrive at Mastro Liviís workshop. First things first, after introductions with his wife and his son Luca, coffee. Espresso to be exact. Now we were in for our first treat. Locally produced honey instead of sugar in the espresso. Wow, Iím a convert now. Whilst enjoying coffee we were able to peruse his shop and view his masterpieces in display cases. Not only view but hold them and feel the superb craftsmanship.
    AndiamoÖ.time to get to work. As this was to be a Carbon Damascus steel, Mastro Livi selected some steel plates and some nickel too. His process is to layer these small plates together, weld them in place and heat them in his forge to create a billet he can work from. This process takes several hours and can get extremely hot. There are many points along the creation that a defect can show itself. Perhaps the layers donít melt together properly. Things were progressing well and we had a billet he could work with. We started to outline the initial shape. Taking some cues from some of his blades hanging up in a cabinet I could decide the shape and size of the blade and tang which after Mastro took one look at my beard decided the grind would be a full hollow, even an extra full hollow. I could start to feel my personality etching itself onto the metal.
    Once Mastro Livi had ground the shape and drilled the hole the blade needed to be tempered. Before this and at various other stages, he would dip the blade into acid to see the actual Damascus pattern and check for any defects.
    Now with the shape formed and the blade tempered he moved onto the first stage of initial grinding. Unfortunately at this point he noticed a defect in the blade and knew that it couldnít be used. Iíve kept this as a souvenir. By this time it was past 6pm and we decided to call it a day. Mastro Livi would work on creating another billet for me in the evening ready for us to shape first thing on the Saturday which happened to be my 40th birthday. I really wasnít upset or disappointed but being the perfectionist that he is, Mastro Livi was very sorry. I still had an unbelievable first day.
    Also Antonello who had spent the whole day translating for me actually managed to assist Mastro Livi in creating a twisted Damascus billet for a knife.

    Day 2
    My excitement was still bubbling over from the first day and I couldnít wait to get started. This time, instead of using 21 layers including 4 layers of nickel, Mastro Livi made a billet with 29 layers inc 8 layers of nickel. What a billet it was.
    First off he turned the handle for my brush. Whilst looking at other brush styles I noticed a brush handle that had polished metal on the top and bottom of the handle. I knew this would finish of my brush and what a lucky decision. I watched him create my brush and also the matching handle for my loom. Then he got down to the nitty gritty of making my razor. Things went perfect that day, perhaps the stars had aligned for my 40th. Not only did Mastro Livi create the most wonderful blade for me but also one of the blades weíd been using as a template/demo turned out to have the smallest of defects in the blade and so would not be sold to any customers. As a special treat, he offered the blade to me at the cost of raw materials and partnered it with scales in Ebony wood with 3 Mother of pearl inlays. How could I refuse such a generous offer?
    I must also mention the generosity of his family. Particularly Mastroís wife who took Antonello and myself into their home for a home cooked Italian lunch. I was truly touched.
    The blade was finished, scales created and the razor was honed. The time had come for Mastro Livi to hand the blade to me and for me take it out for a maiden shave. I now had the honour of Mastro Livi building a lather up on my face using the famed P.160 and then to shave. Once I was happy with the shave, Mastro Livi signed the razor and scales, brush and loom handle to.
    Words fail me in expressing the complete experience I had not only during the two very full days with Mastro Livi and his family but also the time in Perugia with Antonello.
    I could not have wished to have met a finer gentleman in Antonello to share this great hobby of ours and to watch a truly great artisan in his element. Mastro Livi chapeau.

    Here's a few pics of the final razor set and the "defective" second razor that I also came away with.

    Name:  DSC_0005.jpg
Views: 933
Size:  35.6 KB

    Name:  DSC_0012.jpg
Views: 707
Size:  29.8 KB

    Name:  DSC_0036.jpg
Views: 686
Size:  27.8 KB

    Name:  DSC_0049.jpg
Views: 681
Size:  25.2 KB

    More pics of the whole process to follow
    Last edited by jodypress; 10-06-2013 at 06:17 AM.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to jodypress For This Useful Post:

    Birnando (10-06-2013), fschulenburg (04-03-2014), JimmyHAD (10-06-2013), Leatherstockiings (10-06-2013), Lynn (10-06-2013), Smoothy (10-12-2013), wtrwar (10-07-2013)

  3. #2
    Senior Member MichaelS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Tervuren, Belgium
    Posts
    644
    Thanked: 54

    Default

    Amazing, congrats, enjoy and thanks for a great post!

  4. #3
    50 year str. shaver mrsell63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Pothole County, PA
    Posts
    2,258
    Thanked: 522
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Mama mia!!!

    I'll be right over. Would it be possible for me to go there for my 70th birthday and have a razor made for me? That would freak me out bigtime..................!!
    JERRY
    OOOPS! Pass the styptic please.

  5. #4
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Default Day 1













    Lynn, 32t, sashimi and 3 others like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Default













    Lynn, JimmyHAD, 32t and 4 others like this.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to jodypress For This Useful Post:

    JimmyHAD (10-06-2013)

  8. #6
    Senior Member cahnwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NRH, TX
    Posts
    124
    Thanked: 23

    Default

    That is a wonderful story. Makes me quite jealous as I'll be in Florence in two weeks , but wont have any time to stop off at Perguia during my trip. A broken heart I will have.

    Congrats on your new shaver, I know I won't be the only jealous one on here!

  9. #7
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Default













    Lynn, 32t, sashimi and 1 others like this.

  10. #8
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Default








  11. #9
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Default Day 2













    Lynn, 32t, sashimi and 1 others like this.

  12. #10
    Senior Member jodypress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    172
    Thanked: 38

    Default













    Lynn, 32t, sashimi and 3 others like this.

Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •