My masters at Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli

There are many figures we meet on our life, and who guide us perhaps for short time. I like to remember the years of training at the Scuola Mosaicisti del Fiuli where I met special people, both teachers and students.

Are you ready to fly?

So the teacher Evelina Della Vedova asked me, giving me my new task. It was the face of Jesus, part of a representation of Michelangelo’s “La Pietà” that we would have interpreted as a mosaic. I was excited: I felt the importance of the task. I love challenges, but this one seemed beyond my reach. Among my companions, I was not one of the best. Yet I should work on the face of one of the two protagonists. I gave my all to do it best and, as I continued with my work, I felt the discouragement of never getting to the end. Weaving from very difficult shapes, the precision of the cut that had to be impeccable, the curls of the hair seemed torture me. Yes: I had taken off and… I had crashed, I said to myself 🙂 Yet, undeterred, I completed my task. And now, even years later, when I see that face, I see the tenacity and stubbornness it takes to achieve great results.

Mosaic is vibration

Speed ​​has never been my strongest skill during my school years. And this led me to train continuously to improve myself, but it was not my aim. I loved and still love color. I love how we can reproduce a tone by combining the right shades of color. “The mosaic must vibrate”, some masters told us. Mysterious words, which only became clearer over time. The eye gets tired in front of totally flat backgrounds: they are artificial. There is a need to stop monotony, and you need to do it with kindness so as not to create distractions. It is a field where you work on tiptoe, in precarious balance, and I remember the hours spent designing colored tiles to understand which blends work and which don’t. It seemed like eternal hours, but every single minute was as precious as gold.

michelangelo la pietà mosaic interpretation

On the left the detail of the face during the making, on the right the overall work created with all the students.

The stars

Then there are those who pass quickly, but leave a mark. They were the internships with great mosaic artists such as Giulio Candussio and Marco De Luca. I was always super insecure, I saw them as two rocks: stable, strong. They are people who have a lot to teach, but it is in their example of behavior that they know how to suggest that something intangible and unspeakable, but which remains.

Work hard!

This was the mantra. As students we fed it, because the atmosphere that was generated spontaneously was that of a team that worked in unison, aware that every effort was then rewarded by the awareness of having created something unique, great and unrepeatable. It was perhaps the pride of being able to say “in this mosaic, there is also the work of my hands”. I remember the discipline of the master Burelli. We reckless and he who put us back in line. And he did. The passion and love of doing with your hands, you cannot understand except … by doing. We were excited by every input that each teacher, in his discipline, gave us. It was a constant race to want to do new things: learn how to apply an artistic mosaic, how to weld, how to make flour glue, how to make isinglass, how to make a Venetian terrazzo … we were sponges and we wanted to be the best in doing what we did.

Believe in

The enthusiasm of master Igor Marziali, in the last year. With him, I emerged from the “crash” experienced with the face of Jesus. I worked hard, and I believed in it. Until the end. And in the end, the award for the best final essay at the end of the year also arrived. Each project that year was an exciting challenge. It was difficult to know at first where we would go, but the certainty that we would make it and that the result would be memorable.

The secret was, and still remains, simple: just believe it!

P.s .: even if I have not explicitly named all the teachers, I reserve a place in my heart for all of them.

White Framed Polyphonically mosaic art

My end-of-year essay: a mosaic reproduction of “White Framed Polyphonically” by Paul Klee.

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