Makers & Brothers

Ships That Sail Through The Clouds

Luigi Prina is an 83-year-old Italian architect who makes ships that truly fly; delicate masterpieces that soar into the clouds. He has been building model airplanes since childhood. There is true craftsmanship and love at play with each creation.

This video captures a beautiful portrait of Luigi in his study, a magical world where he is surrounded by dozens of ships hanging by a strand of nylon. A breath of fresh air in the high-tech world of today, this fascinating man exhibits a unique and delicate touch completed with expert craftsmanship.

A national aircraft-modelling champion at the age of 16, he has honed his skill and his handcrafted flying models have evolved into incredible designs. Flying models made of delicate paper and balsa wood, and powered by a simple elastic band made of pure Indian rubber, which can last for over 20 years, reminds one of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of flying machines from the 15th century.

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

Clearly a lifelong passion, Luigi looks on with devoted eyes, following his flying ship on its journey. His face lights up with a child-like smile watching his handmade creation as it circles the room. We admire his enduring affection for the intricate flying ships that he so lovingly creates, and sets sailing through clouds.

"When the ship began to go around the ceiling it seemed as if the clouds were moving."

Video: Blinking City
Quotes (in order): Leonardo da Vinci, Luigi Prina

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