Cork Sculptures with Francesco Ferrario

Cork. Nature’s stopper.

If you’re a wine lover or work in restaurants, you’ve plucked plenty of wine corks from bottles. Some, you’ve tossed. Other corks, you’ve held onto.

There are plenty of people that collect corks for sentimental reasons. Some get crafty and make homemade wine cork-boards, coasters, or trivets. And then there are the artists–people like my friend Francesco Ferrario–who see another kind of potential in wine corks.

I invited Francesco Ferrario to display some of his wonderful cork-inspired characters and answer a few questions about what motivated his newest art from.

What inspired your cork sculptures?

I have a lot of corks laying around the house, because wine is an integral part of all our meals. One night I was trying to find something funny to leave for my son to find when he woke up and I made up a little cork airplane…

What are they typically made from?

Corks are the main matter, and everything else I can find around the house; toothpicks, lentils, pieces of t-shirts…

You told me you started making the sculptures for your son, Luca. Have you made the sculptures for anyone else?

After I told and show some friends about the little dolls, they started asking me about making some for them; elephants, cats, lions, and I made a couple of cooks for some chef friends…

Do you have a background in art? Anyone else in your family have your talent for the arts? Where did you study? What was the focus of your studies?

Not at all. My son is always trying to build and design new things out of anything available, and give me the idea to do the same. 7-year-old’s can be very inspiring…

Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in Milan Italy, until I moved in the States when I was 21- years-old.

You work in the restaurant business. Where do you work and what do you do?

I am a manager. I run the beverage program of The Lobster in Santa Monica

Do you have plans for your little cork brigade?
Not really

Beyond cork sculptures, what are you working on/creating right now?

Wine lists and homemade games for my son

What was the best meal you’ve had/cooked in the past week or so?

After a visit to the Wednesday Santa Monica farmer’s market I roasted some orange and yellow carrots and some softball-sized cauliflowers with olive oil and lemon zests. I roasted chicken breasts with a parsley pesto and sautéed tiny (4-inch long) corn husks with a little white wine and lemon juice. I served it with Jasmine rice and a nice bottle of Sancerre.

If someone was interested in buying a sculpture, how could they do so?
For now I have made them only for fun…

Thank you Francesco! We look forward to seeing more of your charming wine-cork sculptures.


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. feasting-on-pixels (terrie)
    December 8

    Wow Brooke…these are amazing…
    I have entered a design contest using champange corks and wires every year were we turn corks into lovely chairs, but these creations are so very wonderfully creative…
    merci for sharing these, the artist is oh so talented…! ! !

  2. matt wright
    December 10

    These are brilliant! I have been given a little person made from a peanut shell before, but never a cork! They have such character too!

    I might now make some cork people of my family 😀

  3. Leah Greenstein
    December 13

    So much fun! These little guys are quite adorable and so crafty. Props to Francesco.

  4. white on rice couple
    December 14

    This takes patience and talent! Thanks for sharing Francesco’s amazing vision and art! Great interview too…

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