Panzano in Chianti -- April 2013
As daffodils and tulips burst into bloom, Veneshe arrived in Tuscany for our annual Venetian Plaster Training Course. Our project was to give the roughly plastered and whitewashed walls of Fagiolari a warm make-over with soft Sahara Italian plaster. With a large and talented group of students, we felt confident training on the large wall that stretched the length of the house, from guest bedrooms, to the foyer, to private quarters.
We began taping, draping and priming and then set to work, mastering the plaster application technique for the first layer, which is always the hardest owing to the rough, pebbled surface ot the simple plaster substrate. By the time we got to the next layer, the students were pros. Meanwhile, our fine artist Holly Scott designed and executed a trompe l'oeil painting in the hallway niche, creating a kitchen scene that evoked the early placement of the orginal kitchen when the home doubled as stables in the Middle Ages.
Our itinerary was built around plastering in the mornings, followed by a full course lunch prepared by our hostess and Tuscan cooking instructor Giulietta, and then returning to our project to complete the lesson. On shorter days, and free days, we traveled as a group to explore the nearby towns and quaint villages of the Chianti region - Radda, Castellina in Chianti, San Donato. Our timing was perfect to catch an outdoor antiques market in Greve and an artist market in Panzano. We savored the hospitality of our dear friend Stefano Salvadori at the Accademia del Buon Gusto, and met up with our artist friends Claudia and Checco. Our day trips included two visits to Florence as well as afternoons in Volterra and San Gimignano.
Veneshe's Venetian Plastering Class in Italy is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience Italy from a very different perspective than that of a typical tourist. Combining vacation with artistry and learning makes for a stimulating and memorable experience. The hospitality extended to our students is heartwarming and genuine - you will feel as though you have been welcomed into the hearts and homes of the locals- as indeed, you will be. The friendships that come out of the project will surely last a lifetime. And you'll learn to Venetian plaster in Italy. How cool is that!