Chicago artist builds little Trevi Fountains

February 8, 2012 3:31:31 PM PST
In Rome, the Trevi Fountain is where wishes are cast with the toss of a coin. Chicago sculptor Giovanni Bucci created his own tiny Trevis.

"Some of this product, like Trevi Fountain, it was rented to a number of festivals through the country during the summer, you know, so people could enjoy it," Bucci said.

Bucci builds the classics like Trevi Fountain because he says Americans like to think they're in Europe when they see his work at trade shows, weddings or theme parks. Bucci has constructed five Trevi Fountains. All out of fiber glass.

"The actual sculpture is usually made in clay. From the clay then we make rubber molds and from these rubber molds we then can mold in fiber glass," Bucci said.

The 77- year-old artist came to the U.S. from Italy 53 years ago and he brought with him his love for his home country and its sculptures, like the Trevi, which was finished in 1762 after long years of construction.

"The original Trevi Fountain was a little over thirty years or something [to build]," Bucci said. "The one behind me ... it took me a little over a month."

When Bucci came to America in 1959, he didn't know he was sculptor. He was years away from creating pieces like this. No, the first thing he did was build a car.

"When I came to America. .... I would love to have a sports car. I did not have the money to buy one and I went and built one," Bucci said.

That was the first time Bucci worked with fiberglass, which has been his medium since.