Change is in the air! After some considerable thought, I have decided to close my studio in St. George’s Sept. 1st. Thank you so much to those of you who have visited and created your masterpieces with me! I’ve really enjoyed the experience and met some lovely people.
In September last year I went to Ravenna, Italy to study mosaics. I did the Standard Class…an intro to the Byzantine way of making mosaics, using the hammer and hardie and fell in love! The tools were used by the Romans in the earlier mosaics but natural stone and marble was used. The first mosaics were used to cover and decorate the floors. Usually describing life in that time. Later, the glass mosaics were used to tell stories of the Bible on the walls and ceilings. I returned for two more classes this year and then I decided to learn the language! Full immersion and I love it!
The duckling above is the reproduction (my first piece) that was done in this style. The material is italian smalti and gold mirror. In the original mosaic, the background would have been in in gold smalti..made by placing gold leaf between two sheets of clear glass. The mosaics reflect the light because of the irregularity of the surface of the glass…just beautiful. So, if you get to Ravenna or St. Mark’s in Venice and see those mosaics…you really will be breathless!!! They could never be reproduced today. This style of mosaics was developed around 400-500. They were made in-situ in churches and homes by teams …slaves, mosaic artists and architects. Every piece cut by hand.
Ravenna is known as the City of Mosaics for good reason. It has several UNESCO World Heritage sites full of beautiful mosaics. The small friendly city is perfect for someone who doesn’t want the hustle and bustle of big cities. It is such a great mix of the old and new. In one store, as you browse through the selection of trendy clothes, you can admire restored frescoes on the walls! I can walk or ride my bicycle everywhere…even 12 km to the Adriatic coast. It’s not Bermuda, but it’s different and charming. I have returned for every season and I find it mild in temperature…but hot and humid in August. People move to the coast for the beach life at this time of the year. The calendar is filled with entertainment of one sort or another. I have enjoyed outdoor concerts in a Roman ruin, as well as ballet and plays in an old beautiful theatre. The Art Museum has exhibits with Picasso, Du Champ….wonderful art mixed with local mosaic art. One of my favourite places is a lovely park with a charming cafe…big, comfy wicker style chairs on the porch, or sling back chairs under a big tree await you and your italian cafe! Piazza Popolo, like all piazzas is the centre of life in Ravenna. Every weekend, something is going on. Sipping a cafe, tea, glass of Prosseco or local wine with friends and people watching at an outdoor restaurant or cafe is so much fun!
If you think you would like to have a different kind of vacation, I’d encourage you to follow your passion and take a course on your next holiday whatever your passion You meet people from all over the world and learn something new! In one of my mosaic classes there were 10 people from 8 different countries. Talk about an interesting dinner conversation!! You find new friends, too. 🙂
To try your hand at Byzantine Mosaics (no experience necessary)…check out:
http://mosaicschool.com/ and tell Luciana you found her on my website 😉 She is a mosaic master! Her team create reproduction and original mosaics for clients around the world.
To try a little italian (all levels welcome and all size groups)…check out
http://www.scuolapalazzomalvisi.com These teachers are great…friendly and fun. Again, let them know how you found them. Actually, I may be walking the halls when you come by!
If I am in Ravenna when you are…I’d be happy to show you around. I can help you will recommendations for dining, activities and accommodations. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always happy to share or chat about Italy and mosaics.
So, the doors close Sept. 1……I’ll keep you up-to-date with my journey. Life’s going to be a bit of an adventure for the next while. So…check back every now and then 🙂 First stop….Sarria, Spain to walk the last 100 km of the El Camino with my Canadian cousin, Sandra. Final destination…Santiago de Compostela. Must start breaking in those new walking shoes!!!! Then, I’ll be back in Ravenna…………… Caio, amici!