I am a native speaker of Italian and British English. I sing various types of music, primarily Balkan (Greek, Bulgarian etc) and Minyo (Japanese folk music, on which I accompany myself on the shamisen), but I also compose my own music. I study Bharatanatyam and Kathak (two classical Indian dance forms).
I create custom clothing which is tailored to the requirements and body shape of the client, provided that I can meet the client in person in San Francisco or in the surrounding area for fittings. Measurements can be submitted online, but the human body consists of many complex curved planes which interact in different ways for each individual, and a muslin mock-up must be fitted and fine-tuned in person, because even bodies with identical measurements may have different shapes.
I also produce handmade embroidery and tatted lace, including edgings for clothes and lace jewellery. Examples of my clothing, lace and embroidery are on the ‘custom clothing’ and ‘lace, lace jewellery and embroidery’ pages of this website.
I have six years’ proofreading, translation and interpreting experience with Alpha Translation and Interpreting in Edinburgh (UK), which took me all over Scotland to interpret in a variety of settings including trials, police interrogations, film festivals and other cultural festivals, medical examinations, conferences, lectures with foreign speakers, interviews with journalists, interviews on radio or television, depositions and other legal proceedings (often involving political refugees), negotiations with foreign business partners, and guided tours. After moving to North America I have continued performing translation and interpreting work in the same vein, often during such events as the San Francisco International Film Festival and the New Italian Cinema Events film festival as well as during visits by foreign dignitaries and academics. I have been a volunteer translator for three Iranian human-rights organisations since 2010 (translating letters from political prisoners, legal documents pertaining to their trials, press releases and so on).
I have a PhD about contemporary Iranian criminal courts from the University of Edinburgh (the abstract is here), I am the English translator of an admittedly obscure biography of the bishop Tommaso Reggio (Basadonna, Giorgio. Sulle tracce di Tommaso Reggio, Vescovo di Ventimiglia, Arcivescovo di Genova. Milan: Gribaudi, 1998), and I am the author of the chapter on post-revolutionary Iranian law in the Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law (Oxford University Press, 2015, edited by Anver M. Emon and Rumee Ahmed).
The logo for formicable is very roughly based on the structure of the formic acid molecule (formic acid is produced by ants) – but is itself composed of collaborative ants, ready to embark on some intriguing new project perhaps. People have always called me ‘Ant’ and that is why this website (the name, the logo) and some things I make (the kanji for ‘Ant’ embroidered on some of my clothes) have something of an ant theme. Ants are formicable creatures after all.