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Carratore Alfio Catalano

Carratore Catalano

Mastro di Carretti - Alfio Catalano

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)

Sicilian Wood Cart Tools

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 mallet.
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 by Carratore Catalano 1

Carratore Catalono

Letter from Alfio Catalano to George Concetto .Petralia !

Sicilian   Carettori


Sicilian Carrattori, 94 year old Domenico Murabito, who livesin Bel Passo, Sicily, works on a spoke.

To contact George Petralia for commissioned works contact him at

e-mail the sicilian wood carver

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