Andrea Cagnetti, who works under the name Akelo, is an old soul living in the 21st century. He lives in a private world where he can deeply focus on his passion of creating beautiful jewels and sculptures wrought with 3,000 year-old techniques. Through a ritual of intense meditation and experimentation, Akelo, an entirely self-taught artist, has become a modern day virtuoso of the extraordinary methods developed by his ancestors.
It is not surprising that Akelo has evolved into a Renaissance man. He was born in Corchiano (a village in the Viterbo province), which is built upon the ruins of the legendary Etruscan city of Fescennia, where he was raised on a steady diet of nature's beauty. As a child his teachers would take him for walks among the Etruscan graves, feeding his imagination about the lost civilization and its artistic skills.
Akelo's education as a teenager and young adult would carry him closer to his destiny of becoming a scultor and a master goldsmith working in the technique of granulation. In school and after his formal education ended, he focused on Greek and Latin literature, the tools and techniques of his lost ancestors, and the alchemy and art of goldsmithing.
Of all his singular experiences, Akelo credits the revelations inspired by The Secret Book, written by a mysterious alchemist named Artephius about whom little is known.
Legend has it that Artephius was part of a spiritual brotherhood devoted to unraveling the mysteries of the hidden world. His life and work was a great influence for Akelo to provide the commitment required to create his own body of work.
After a successful career as a graphic artist living in the hustle and bustle of Rome, and after many years of studying ancient text, Akelo returned to the little village of Corchiano. He left city life behind to fulfill his destiny as a artist. There the peace and quiet and the inspiration of his Etruscan ancestors allowed to him focus on his work.
To become a master, you need deep Zen-like concentration, devotion, and true intention of motivation. Only inspired by sincere passion can one be empowered to endure the seclusion and practice required to achieve such a level of excellence. Even after a serious accident damaged his arm and threatened to end Akelo's career, he persisted and never gave up on continuing his journey. His near tragedy perhaps gave him an even greater sensitivity and heightened awareness of his love for creating with gold and its expression through his work.
Akelo's body of work is based on myths, legends and symbols, taken from an ancestral repertory and elaborated through a personal cryptic language drawn from a knowledge of alchemy coming from his in depth studies of ancient texts.