Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 2 Florence Dreaming

The reason for being in Florence is to research for my next book, and to find some inspirational subject matter, and in that regard this week proved to be a bit of a gem.I caught up with friends who I will go and see later in the month. I have been working on a counter ego doll- Colombina- I want her to track around with me and see the sights. Colombina is a character from the Commedie Dell'arte, which developed in the sixteenth century and she was a servant though often the only one with any sense or intelligence on the stage and the mistress of Harlequin. All the characters in Commedie Dell'arte wear masks and are the basis of the Venetian carnivale masks but in the beginning it appears Colombina did not wear a mask though she did wear a patched dress as a servant girl would and sometimes also the diamond shaped patches of the harlequin costume. Anyway I will look more into her history but at the moment I am having fun with her in weird and wonderful places ( and she is not quite finished yet- that old enemy time and more time)


Yesterday she went to the Artigianato e Palazzo a fair for artisans and their crafts.The  booths were spread throughout the garden, which is quite lovely with formal elements.Lots of potted lemon trees and orange trees, peonie roses and artichokes.


My favourite booth however was the Fabriano booth. My daughter and I have used Fabriano paper in the past and indeed all the cards we made for the Pozible campaign were printed on Fabriano card paper. Sandro Tiberi was demonstrating how to make hand made paper and how to  emboss the paper with designs.It was not very busy as I got there quite early so I asked Sandro some questions amongst which were, whether he would be prepared to try one of my linocuts for embossing. He said yes, so I immediately caught the bus back to the apartment, picked up some linocuts, and took the bus back to the Artigianato. Sandro not only used one of my linocuts but all the four I had brought with me- and I was completely blown away by the results ( he also made a set for himself)- they are so different to  printing with ink- so textural and the feel on the hand made paper is just beautiful- so thank you Sandro for letting my imagination take a leap ! Sandro is based in Fabriano and  runs a Accademie where  the art of paper making can be learnt- you can access it through his website.



  The olive tree linocut came out so gorgeous, I couldn't believe it! The rabbit linocut also came out to great effect- the areas so well defined. The linocut of the vase of poppies ended up coloured because the last time it was used in a transfer printing workshop it had not been washed properly so the transfer paint transferred and as the paper was dried with a heat press the colour turned to black.I quite like the effect.

Last Friday evening I went to the Eataly knitting cafe which was held in the  instruction rooms above Eataly near the Duomo. It was lovely to meet some local people and to have some of their insights on what I should see .It was suggested I go to the Palazzo Davanzati- and I did- and what a morning it turned out to be! I went early ( i find it hard to deal with big crowds of people so  try and get places early so there are less people around) and was  delighted by the Palazzo and it's frescoes and furnishings showcasing a 16th century merchant house.It is also the home of one of the few copies of the the Coperta Guicciardini from the 14th century the original of which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The copy was made and donated to the Palazzo by Silvana Vannini Morgantini from drawings by Maria Silvestri Sardini- and it's gorgeous- just a pity it is lying on a bed though of course it suits the ambience it is supposed to  reflect. I have long wanted to see the original , sought permission on 3 occasions from the V&A but was never rewarded with even an answer except once and then could not because you had to  book to see it so long in advance, so was completely delighted to be able to see the copy of it. Then to top of a wonderful morning there was a small concert held in the court of the Palazzo- 3 different short pieces from the seventeenth century beautifully sung- just magical! And all this cost just 2 Euros!




And just some shots of the frescoes around the Palazzo. The Palazzo contains the fresco cycle know as the Chatelaine de Vergy- depicting the story of an adulterous relationship and it's tragic outcome.




And because it is taking me forever to write this blog post I wanted to leave you with and image of these lads in their headgear!


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Margaret Cooter said...

The embossed linocuts turned out beautifully - and the tree in the next post is gorgeous too!