It was in her home town of Lecce that Luisa Cotardo learned her skill. A small town in the southernmost area of Puglia, there is a diminishing and elderly population that to this day creates Catholic effigies using the ancient craft of Cartapesta Leccese.

Liberty RoseAn intricate process, Cartapesta was originally developed for creating church statuary and architectural detail. And so it was that Luisa was taught by some of their most renowned teachers.

Applying the skills learned and those inherited through generations of those before her, Luisa creates roses of the most exquisite beauty. Each rose is individually crafted using papers found through her travels, some previously discarded, some painstakingly made by hand, some dyed then left to dry in the sun.

White Rose The paper is never cut, only carefully torn thereby allowing the irregularity of the texture and weave to organically flourish under her fingers - after all nature does not have straight cut lines.

Although fragile in look, each rose is in fact remarkably resilient and will last for many years to come. This is because of the 'ponnula' used, the ancient recipe for glue made out of flour and cupric sulphate (a very mild and non-toxic solution) - just like the Madonnas to be found sheltered from the baking sun, in the centuries-old churches found atop sleepy Italian hilltop villages.


Luisa undertakes commissions to create her wonderful roses. Mementoes for special occasions, she has created hand-tied posies of her cartapesta roses for guests of the Italian Embassy in Paris, table settings for weddings and individual roses as gifts for special occasions such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

Group of RosesUnlike other flowers, Luisa's cartapesta roses last - as reminders of the love and happiness from the giver to the receiver.

Rose on Queens Letter

Limited Edition

As each cartapesta rose is hand crafted with great care out of specifically chosen paper that is reclaimed, recycled or handmade, very few are made at any one time.

Luisa Anna Rose

Thus, each design is one of a limited edition.

Each rose measures approximately 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm.