The work

Ettore Jelmorini became a sculptor almost by accident at the age of about 40. He found a stone in a river and he noticed that it had a faint resemblance to a sheep. He picked it up and, by making a few changes, he shaped it. That’s how his first sculpture was born. Since then, he felt the growing need to "free" those figures and shapes that, as he often used to say, were imprisoned within the stones. He liked this so much that even after a hard day of work in the quarry, he frequently picked up his work tools again to give free play to his creativity.

Massive serpentine was his favourite material. Its hardness makes it very difficult to carve but, on the other hand, has the advantage of having no veins. He used to find rocks and stones in the rivers or in the streams of the area and in those of the Vigezzo Valley.

Ettore Jelmorini never attempted to introduce his works to the public and so it took ten years before they were discovered and appreciated.

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In 1958 some of his works were exhibited (without his knowledge) at the first “Ticinese Handicraft Exhibition?that took place in Locarno. In 1962 he participated for the first time in an art exhibition, where some of his sculptures were actually exhibited together with the paintings of two other artists, the painters Pedroli and Brunoni.

Later, his works were exhibited at the “Castello Visconteo?of Locarno and at several art galleries. The newspapers?and periodicals?interest in his works grew over the years and gave him a certain fame. As a consequence, many of his sculptures have been sold everywhere (especially in the German Switzerland and in Germany). During the last years of his life, the growing demands for his works allowed him to make a living and to devote almost all his time to the art of sculpture.

Nevertheless, even though he was pleased with the appreciation of the public for his creations, getting away from them was never easy for him, because he felt as if he was losing a part of himself. After having sold one of his sculptures, he often used to say: "Even this one has gone, but what can I do about it"

NB: Recently, in the 90’s, a brother (Gaetano, 1920) and a nephew (Pietro, 1959) of Ettore Jelmorini took up the family sculpture tradition again, interpreting anew the processing and the transformation of the stone with their own personal techniques.

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