Come join us in Italy for two weeks of full immersion in mosaics!
This stimulating mix of hands-on followed by a week of touring the best mosaic sites and studios in Northern Italy will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of both traditional mosaics and contemporary mosaic expression.
Your hosts, teachers and guides are Stephanie Jurs of Twin Dolphin Mosaics, and Arianna Gallo and Luca Barberini of Kokomosaico.
Arianna and Luca have been teaching traditional mosaics for years and have worked in or with most of the Ravenna studios; Stephanie has been making broken tile mosaics, as one-half of Twin Dolphin Mosaics, for almost twenty years and guiding trips in Italy for seven. Working and travelling with us you’ll get a perspective on Italy and mosaics (both ancient and contemporary) that’s pretty unique.
We’ll visit some private studios and see some mosaic sites that we know about just because we live here, that aren’t in any guide books.
We’ll all meet up Sunday evening in Ravenna for a welcome aperitivo and a delicious dinner of local specialities.
The first five days are spent at Kokomosaico, learning the traditional methods used for both Roman and Byzantine mosaics. After an introduction to the history of mosaics and a visit to Ravenna’s world-famous monuments, you’ll make two mosaics of your own under the expert tutelage of Arianna and Luca.
You’ll learn to cut marble and glass into tiny tessere, and using the double reverse method you’ll make a copy of a fragment of an ancient mosaic. Next you’ll design your own mosaic pattern and execute it using the direct method. Both pieces will be finished by the end of the week and you can take with, or ship them home. (For advanced mosaicists, there are numerous other topics and techniques to explore.)
Then with Stephanie, an American mosaicist who has been living in Ravenna for over ten years, you’ll begin a week-long tour of some of the finest mosaic sites northern Italy has to offer. In Ravenna itself and nearby we find mosaics ranging from the first century AD, through naive and soulful medieval mosaics, right up to present-day expression.
On Sunday we take off for Pomposa, with the remains of the 11th century Benedictine monastery whose church floor writhes with mosaic animals and geometric patterns.
During the week we visit Spilimbergo, home to a lively community of mosaicists whose mosaic philosophy differs sharply from that of Ravenna’s; Aquileia, northern Italy’s most important archeological site with a Basilica literally carpeted with early Christian mosaics; and Venice, where we’ll span the centuries admiring the mosaics of St Mark’s, the 11th century mosaics on the island of Torcello, and the splendour of the Orsoni glass and gold factory.
Specifics: This is a custom course/tour. With a maximum of seven participants, the course/tour begins in Ravenna and ends in Venice and runs from Sunday to the Saturday two weeks later, 14 days/13 nights.
The cost includes a welcome aperitivo and dinner Sunday night, the five day (40 hours) mosaic workshop and all materials, accommodation in Ravenna (breakfast included) through Saturday night, accommodation in Spilimbergo and Venice, breakfasts, transfers/transport/car, museum entries and guided visits, studio visits, and a farewell dinner in Venice.
Price assumes hotel room double occupancy. Supplement of $250 for single rooms (unfortunately, single rooms are not just ½ price of a double. You can ask to share with another student, to make a double.)
To keep costs down most dinners are ‘free’ dinners. In Ravenna we orient you to nearby excellent restaurants; during the tour we eat together but just order off the menu. This way one can eat as much or as little as one wants, or even skip a meal; each night will take us to a different restaurant with a different atmosphere. Lunch we do on our own, often buying picnic supplies, or maybe stopping at a small local trattoria or bar/café.
Price does not cover: ‘free’ dinners, lunches, and transport to and from our initial/ending meeting spots, shipping your mosaics home (if you do not take them with you), personal expenditures, etc.