O R G E P
R A L I A
Mastro di Carretti - Alfio
Mastro di Carretti (Carts) Carratore Alfio Catalano and his
'wheel'. He was the person who handmade George Petralia's first
set of wood carving chisels.
Do you know that each carretto has 2 wheels, each wheel has 12 spokes,
six curves of wood, and one center hub(called la mieolo) which is made
of walnut and held together by 2 metal rings on a metal hub. The
wheel is held onto the metal shaft via a nut or 'rannola' that screws
onto the axle, to hold the wheel to the shaft.
Different types of wood are required for the construction and
durability of the wheel:
The Hub - Walnut (Sicilian)
The Curve - Walnut (Sicilian)
The Spokes - Hickory (Frascino)
Pictured above are the tools that Alfio Catalano used to build
carretti. Thse tools were all handmade by Alfio with the
exception of the drill set.
They include from left to right.
4 Wrenches for tightening wheel cover nuts.
1 Plier to pick up hot pieces of metal.
2 Wood gouges.
1 two handled plane.
1 Hand drill
3 Hand Turnkey drills
(the only items missing are the wood plane, and the wood chipping axe )
The following letter was the last letter sent to George from Alfia
prior to his death.
In the letter Alfia is describing to George the homes and quantities of
all the parts that go into the construction of a carretto.
Letter from Alfio Catalano to
George Concetto .Petralia !
Sicilian Carrattori, 94 year
Domenico Murabito, who livesin Bel Passo, Sicily, works on a spoke.
To contact George Petralia for
commissioned works contact him at
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Sant' Antonio, Sicily
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