Printmaking in Venice

Friday, February 21

The commute to the Scuola is incredible. This morning we stopped in at the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, just around the corner from where we’re staying. We’ve passed its imposing brick walls every day, but have only thought of it as a landmark on our walk. Boy were we surprised when we went inside – it’s a massive Gothic cathedral dating back to the 1400s, with immense columns, sculptures, carvings, frescos and paintings on every surface. Titian’s “Assumption of the Virgin” adorns the altarpiece, and his “Madonna di Ca’ Pesaro” hangs in a nave. The sculptures of the Moors holding up the monument to the Doge Pesaro by Longhena, Barthel and Falcone took my breath away.

Stepping out from the basillica into the Campo we were greeted with the surreal sights and sounds of gondoliers on their cell phones, tourists in Carnivale garb, school children in costume, musicians playing in the streets, and even the Amazon delivery boat in the canal. What a way to start the day!

It’s really incredible how easily one can slip into a new way of life. We’re feeling comfortable at the Scuola, printing on the Bendini press, with the wonderful women who staff the studio, Roberta, Alessia, Marta, and the Unicorn!

We’ve spent the last two days working really hard. We made ten plates and proofed them on gampi and mulberry. Things are beginning to look promising. Tomorrow we’ll go back for a couple of hours to assess where we’re at and then back to the streets for more images.

first proofs
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