Studio Sem was founded in the mid 1950’s by Sem Ghelardini and over the years developed into one of the most important sculpture studios in Pietrasanta if not the region. Sem’s passion and enthusiasm for modern art in the early 1960’s at a time when the majority of artisans rejected the new abstract forms as ridiculous and foolish, was what brought so many sculptors to his studio with the certainty that they would be understood. He made a tradition of inviting young artists to learn by being in the proximity of some of the most celebrated modern masters, such as Henry Moore, Georges Adam, Emile Gilioli, Poncet, Demitrienko and Alicia Penalba while they visited the studio during the execution of their work. He gave the aspiring young sculptors the opportunity to work alongside his artisans with some of the finest marble in the world; he advised, cajoled and encouraged them to open their eyes to the sculptures being made in the studio and invited them to dream of making large works.
During the late 70's and 80's the contemporary artists collaborating with Sem included César, Helaine Blumenfeld, Barry Flanagan, Peter Randall-Page, Dutch artists Maja van Hall, Charlotte van Pallandt, Ans Hey, Fons Schobbers and Norwegian Knut Steen to name a few.