Monday, October 29, 2007

Stone Lemon

This afternoon I started my mosaico fiorentino class. I arrived at three and immediately was told to design something. I did a lemon still life. How original! I thought about it a little before class but was needing some help. Luckily, “maestro” (as you call the instructor) had a computer that I could check the internet with. I used this image for inspiration.

The goal is to start with a simple design (9 cm by 12 cm) so you can complete it. Once you get the design you transfer it to a type of thick paper with a peel-off surface. Then you cut the pieces out with a knife, one-by-one. For example, I cut out the lemon first, put it aside and then took the rest of the adhesive paper (minus the lemon) and layed that over different pieces of stone to see which looked best to represent the lemon. Once you find a stone, you trace the outline of the missing piece (the lemon in this case) on the stone and then stick the adhesive part (of the lemon) to the stone in order to mark it. Then you cut the shape (lemon) out of the stone with a stone cutting machine. Once the piece is cut out of the stone (roughly) you start whittling away at it by hand with a file. Don’t all jump up and down with excitement on this? Meanwhile, Radio Monte Carlo with the oddest mix of Euro and American pop and rock plays in the background.

I created one pathetic stone lemon. I'll take a photo of the drawing and post it. I eventually found a stone with coloring vaguely resembling a lemon (it might be calcedonio but of course it came out of the only bin that wasn’t labeled, go figure).

I will go Monday and Thursdays for 3 hours. Except this Thursday is a holiday (All Saints' Day) so I have to go on Friday.

There were several bins labeled “maestro” and in private I asked another student about these. I thought they were only for the maestro’s use because he is always working on something. Apparently they are extras from his work. From what I understood (all conversation is in Italian) he makes color combinations of stone ahead of time to simplify and speed up his work and that’s what is in these bins. I’m a dope.

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