Now that the year is coming to an end, I look back on the first few months here at school. It’s great: In a few weeks of intensive work, I have learned a lot during the various small projects. I am still overjoyed when I return to my current project with my martellina, spatula and tweezers. And it’s beautiful that the technical difficulties of the beginning are slowly disappearing. The input and practice you gain in a formation of this kind is just not comparable to what you learn in a weekly course.
In the next few years many more techniques, materials and projects are yet to come. The crazy thing about the training is apparently the fact (at least many former students tell me so) that every year you have to forget what you learned in order to practice new techniques. All of a sudden what you tried to keep in mind – the shape of the tesserae, how these are laid, and how the interstices have to be – is not valid anymore.
Of course I could tell a lot of what the 2nd and 3rd year is about. Much more exciting is to see it all with your own eyes. So here are some impressions from the classrooms of the higher semesters. Enjoy!
The first year
In my posts so far you’ve already gained an insight into the subjects of the first year. Of course we start with the basics of mosaic art and its origins. By copying and studying Greek and Roman mosaics from Pella, Delos, Olintos and provinces of the Roman Empire in what is now France, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, Syria, etc., we learn the mosaic ABC
The second year
This is the most golden and colorful year of the formation: Portraits and objects in Byzantine style are made. These are mosaics like those you may have seen in the medieval churches in Ravenna. Among other things, the tecnica ravennate (direct method on temporary stucco) is practiced, a very complex technology that allows you to work slowly and change things, due to the provisional substratum limestone. Also the practice of rovescio su carta, the indirect method invented by Giandomenico Facchina in the middle of the 19th Century, is deepened. Finally, at the end of the school year, modern techniques are used to create contemporary portraits.
Primary material in the second year are smalti. But also stone is used, when it comes to create rougher surfaces.
The third year
The last year of the mosaic formation is about experimenting with interstices, surface, color, cut and material. Wood, felt, paper, cloth and many more materials are used and combined with smalti, stone and marble. Thus, contemporary works with innovative textures and material mixes are created.
The third year also gives the opportunity to develop your own artistic style. By collaborating with artists new influences and inspiration are gained.