Ever since I visited Cappella dei Principi or the Chapel of Princes in the Medici Chapel I was enchanted with the beauty and intricacy of the technique of Florentine Mosaic, or Mosaico Fiorentino as they call it in Florence. I always used to wonder how one can create such beautiful art using something as crude as stones.
So, when I came across this course on the Studia in Italia website I was sure that I would do this. The course was definitely a unique experience not only because of the beautiful technique that I was learning, but also because the studio workshop was around 30 minutes drive from Florence. A drive, which I used to take everyday with none other then my instructor Lituana, and her student Satomi. Since the very first day, because of this drive, we developed a lovely friendship that was the icing on the cake of our student-teacher relationship.
The course itself was something that I couldn’t have ever imagined. The workshop was a riot of colours with so many different beautiful stones, some precious and semi-precious while others the commonest of all. Lituana has prepared for me a simple mosaic with three pieces of stones. She taught me how to cut the stones using machines, file them to fit together, and then pasting and polishing the final piece. After that she asked me to draw a shape of my liking, which was supposed to be my second piece. She also helped me to select the stones for it and then we repeated the entire process again.
Since I had a little time during my winter break, I had to complete my 24 hours of lessons in four days. Lituana was so understanding and helpful and she used to stay back late with me to help me complete my project. On the final day she called a photographer friend Ruth to get my pieces photographed. I couldn’t contain my happiness and excitement when I had both my artworks in my hands. They were beautiful.
Apart from learning and doing the technique, the thing that I remember the most is having lunch together and going out for coffee breaks. One of the dearest moments for me from the course is when I took home cooked Indian lunch for Lituana and Satomi. It was more than a course to me, something that is going to stay with me my whole life. I wish I could go back and work alongside Lituana and Satomi someday. It was all so beautiful!