Monday, October 27, 2014

Continuing... " My Venetian Adventure" ( part 2 )

As I mention in the previous post, I had forgotten to pack my intended project design so I was left with my only option, to just wing it!! I'm used to working in a solitary environment, my comfort zone is breached when placed in a group situation like a class. I quickly felt performance anxiety after chatting with my fellow classmates and learning of their varied experience with mosaics. I had to remind myself that I was there for my own creative experience, not to compete or impress anyone else!!  How silly, the things we do in our own little heads!?! 

Our instructor, Antonella Gallenda, did not waste time with pleasantries... she came to each one of us individually to find out what our expectations for the course was & how she could help us achieve the results we wanted! That was just what I needed to get out of my own head and back to why I chose to go there! She handed me a brand new, freshly sanded board and a pencil with instructions we create a design that reflected my unique style, not someone else's. After quickly sketching a design that I felt was achievable under the time restraints of the next few days, I realized that I was being observed. The Maestro himself, Lucio Orsoni, was watching me... he began to explain to me that the lines I made to follow must not dictate the end results, that as I began laying down the colors that I would undoubtedly make changes. "To make mosaics you must feel mosaics"... those few words set the tone for my creativity, my piece was ready to be started! With Antonella's counsel, my beginning color palette was chosen, my tools were at the ready and the glass cutting began!!

Learning to use a hammer and hardy was the first hurdle to get over. In the past, I had only used the wheeled hand cutters. Antonella made using the hammer look quite easy, but she is a master mosaic artist, in actuality it was very difficult!! My scrap pile was growing by the minute and I was relying on my wheel cutter to see me through! Throughout the next few days and vowing to succeed, I finally became comfortable with hammer cutting... my scrap pile was even reflecting my new found skill! Cutting and laying down your design is very time consuming, haste will definitely show in the quality of your work! One of the benefits of staying at the Orsoni B&B while attending the course is that the studio is available for your use 24 hrs a day. For this reason I chose to stay at the B&B, I knew that I would take full advantage of this benefit and I most definitely did! I loved the solitude of working in the middle of the night, free of the constant chatter of others... my creative comfort zone was restored! I accomplished more in the few hours I worked each night than others did during the 8 hours of class time. It also allowed me the luxury of time in class to ask questions & learn more techniques from Antonella's time with us! I wanted to get the most out of this experience as possible and in the end, I feel that I did!

Below you will see a few pictures that reflect "my work in progress"... I wish that everyone could actually be a part of an experience similar to mine... no matter what your artistic passion is, to be completely submerged into an environment so focused on just that, is a memory worth making!!

Hammer & Hardy - feels like overkill at first, watch your fingers!!
Wheel Hand Cutter - snipping glass to fit in spaces is a must

 Yes, this really is a "selfie" of me ( a very rare sighting
Just wanted to prove that I was actually there, even to myself!!

Quiet studio in the middle of the night - Heaven!
Beginnings of my masterpiece - I like a tidy work space!
Work in progress... as you can see I have chosen abstract over traditional

"Venetian Fig" Smalti Mosaic (approx. 16X16)

So there you have it, my finished mosaic - of course, there were many more twists & turns along the way but I think in condensing my tale you can still feel the spirit of my creative experience... from start to finish, a wonderful and blessed adventure!!

I even had time to play in the end with another small project. Antonella showed me a technique in using large chunks of glass & hammering away to create shapes... harder than it sounds, just about the time you think you got it, the piece shatters into nothingness!! Here's what I came out with... don't you just love the texture?!

 "Viola Fiori" - Approx. 6X6
 My Venetian Adventure will continue with more tales to tell... Until then, Ciao!!


  1. Wowzers! Beautiful works! Your selfie is SO adorable! * envious of your experience...that would be cool to have 24 hour access to art in a B&B!

    1. Thanks Mel, I really do appreciate you taking the time to check out my latest and comment... I love feedback!! I'll be hoping that you will enjoy a similar experience in your future...dreams really can come true!!

  2. hello!!!
    bet this all seems like a dream now!!!