May 2016 - On the 14th of May, my long-awaited dream became a reality :) I left to Italy to attend an intensive 3-day mosaic workshop at the biggest mosaic school in the world: the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli in a small town called Spilimbergo, North of Venice. The school offers a 3-year program where students from all over the world come together to learn the art of mosaics. Lessons in geometric and decorative drawing, theory of colour, computer graphics, history of art as well as the technology of materials are included in the program. Upon graduating from this school, students are capable of interpreting any kind of subject into mosaics.
We started off our first day with a 3-hour tour around the school passing from one studio to the other and saw the most fascinating works of art displayed all over the school!. During their first year, students are devoted to learning the art of Roman mosaics - creating copies of ancient mosaic works and learning the techniques and materials specific to that time. In the second year, they move onto the Byzantine era and begin to explore yet another approach to making mosaic works. The last year is devoted to contemporary mosaic works where students are encouraged to explore new materials and techniques to create original works of art.
Our workshop began by learning the fundamentals of working with the hammer and hardie using materials such as marble, stone, and the infamous hand-made glass "smalti" with its range of vivid colours. Our amazing teacher, Carolina Zenelli, helped us create small samples of work each one with a different theme. It was my first time to use the hammer and hardie (I had only used the tile nippers before that) and I absolutely loved it! The more I practiced the more I improved and the more I created :) I couldn't stop! :)
The second day of our workshop, we were given the chance to visit one of the biggest makers and suppliers of Smalti in the region called Mario Doná in Spilimbergo. It felt like landing in mosaic heaven! The large mosaic pizzas were everywhere with all kinds of amazing colours (please see the pictures below)!! We got the chance to see how these glass mosaics are made and to buy whatever we wanted - it was a feast for the eyes :)
The school offers many intensive weekend or weekday courses throughout the year and I really look forward to taking more in the near future! For a full schedule of their courses for 2016, click here...