We landed in Venice on Sunday. Took a boat from the airport into the city. It is like floating into a dream; or a movie set. You know it’s a real place but it feels like fiction. It is beautiful beyond words; the architecture, the water, the leaded glass windows, stone streets, little bridges over canals. Magical!
We are staying in the Palazzo Dandolo, a 17th century mansion on the grand canal and home of Matilde Dolcetti, the founder and director of the Scuola. I write this sitting under one of the many intricate Murano glass chandeliers that adorn the rooms of this palazzo. It’s filled with art, and books, and gorgeous old furnishings. It’s a museum in itself.
Today, Monday we went to the Scuola to meet Alessia, the studio assistant and our dear friend Roberta Feoli. Our 20 minute walk to the school took over an hour, as we got lost in the winding maze of little streets and bridges. It’s carnivale here now, so the streets are lined with shops selling masks and renting elaborate gowns. In the evening we see people dressed in these costumes, roaming the streets, throwing bits of paper confetti.
We eventually found the school and were warmly greeted by Lorenzo de Castro, Alessia and Roberta. We got oriented to the studio and unpacked our materials. It’s a beautiful space, filled with all the familiars of a print studio – presses, etching baths, work tables. Tomorrow we buckle down in earnest and start making some plates.