Italy 2014

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9/19 Helga’s figures loaded in the kiln

Posted on: September 19th, 2014 by

 

Helga and her tattooed female.

Helga and her tattooed female.

The front of the tattooed girl.

The front of the tattooed girl.

Loading the kiln.  My vases are on the left.  Helga's figures.  Marino's cups and bowls.

Loading the kiln. My vases are on the left. Helga's figures. Marino's cups and bowls.

Helga has been working on a series of 12 female figures from different countries.  Helga is from Austria.  She retired over a year ago and now spends half the year in India and the other half of the year in Italy.  While she is in Italy she works at Marino's studio. She will be leaving on Thursday so she is trying to finish up as many of the figures that she can.  She sculpted  all the figures from a  solid piece of clay and then  hollowed them out so that they could be fired in the kiln.  There is a picture of the kiln getting loaded.   Glaze is very dry when you put it in the kiln,  but most of these pieces will be shining after the firing.

One of my vases in the kiln was inspired from all the old people I see walking around with canes. You will see them just walking in the street with their canes.

Wax Resist technique of people waling with canes.

Wax Resist technique of people waling with canes.

Man walking in the streets of Montefiascone

Man walking in the streets of Montefiascone

9/18 The clothes line

Posted on: September 18th, 2014 by

 

My watercolor of the clothesline.

My watercolor of the clothesline.

Second story clothes line.

Second story clothes line.

View of the clothesline as you walk down the sidewalk.

View of the clothesline as you walk down the sidewalk.

Always pretty colors on this clothesline.

Always pretty colors on this clothesline.

My clothesline behind my bike.

My clothesline behind my bike.

This is how I have been washing my clothes.  However, I am not doing sheets and towels.

This is how I have been washing my clothes. However, I am not doing sheets and towels.

Clothesline bowl.

Clothesline bowl.

Clothesline vase and my fish mug.

Clothesline vase and my fish mug.

Everyone in these small towns in Italy have their  laundry hanging outside.  I am intrigued by the systems they have for hanging clothes from the second floor.  I posted a 15 second video on my Kathy Mommsen facebook with the operation of this clothesline.  (There is not enough memory on my blog to post it here.)  I love seeing the personality of the people just by the color of their clothing and the way they hang them.  I have been hanging clothes on my line, but my line in inside the room with my bike..so it is not so fancy..but it has been doing the trick.  I have done a watercolor of the clothesline and I incorporated the image in a few of my pieces.

9/17 Marino’s Selenium Glaze

Posted on: September 17th, 2014 by

 

We have been busy glazing so that we can fire a kiln on Thursday night.    Marino demonstrated his selenium glazes.  He first brushes a bright yellow, orange or red glaze on the piece.  He then plans his design either from memory or sometimes refers to his sketch which are inspired by Islamic Ceramics. Then he lightly sketches on the clay work with a graphite pencil.  He responds to the alteration of the piece.  He is thinking about the division of the space.  He divides the space inside and transfers the same division to the outside. All the pictures are of Marino's bowls. I did a vase and two tiles in the process, but it got loaded in the kiln before I photographed it. I will post one when it comes out.

Painting on the Selenium glaze.

Painting on the Selenium glaze.

Referring to sketches for designs.

Referring to sketches for designs.

Lightly drawing the design on the bowl.

Lightly drawing the design on the bowl.

Outside of one bowl.  The dark line is the copper.

Outside of one bowl. The dark line is the copper.

The inside of one of Marino's bowls.

The inside of one of Marino's bowls.

This is one example of his selenium glazes with the copper on top once it is fired.

This is one example of his selenium glazes with the copper on top once it is fired.

9/16 Marino’s invite for his library installation

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by

 

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Fire...one of the four benches.

Fire...one of the four benches.

A large stepped area for sitting.

A large stepped area for sitting.

I just got the invite to the opening of Marino's installation at the public library in Orvieto and I thought I would share it with you. He has been working on some aspect of this the whole time I have been here. He has been working on the project since March. I know most of you will not be able to come, but if you ever come to Orvieto you need to check out the library and his installation. I do not have a finished photo, but here are a couple of the in process photos.

I had google translate this and this is what I got. (I think you will get the idea)

We are pleased to invite the city
September 20 at 18:30
Square Febei , 1
the opening of the
garden of the public library "L. Fumi "
and the presentation of the volume
Microcosm CERAMICO
The decoration of majolica Marino Moretti
in the garden of the New Public Library Orvieto
Followed by a little friendly
and a concert by the FUNKERIA OLD COURSE

9/15 A few glazed pieces

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by

 

Bowl with sgraffito  (carved lines) through the majolica glaze and water syringed after complete to give a watercolor effect.

Bowl with sgraffito (carved lines) through the majolica glaze and water syringed after complete to give a watercolor effect.

An altered bowl with sgraffito  (carved lines) through the majolica glaze and water syringed after complete to give a watercolor effect.

An altered bowl with sgraffito (carved lines) through the majolica glaze and water syringed after complete to give a watercolor effect.

Vase with cut out so that you can see the color of the inside turquoise  glaze.

Vase with cut out so that you can see the color of the inside turquoise glaze.

4x4" tile of the cat and the mouse.

4x4" tile of the cat and the mouse.

4x4" tile from one of my bus drawings.

4x4" tile from one of my bus drawings.

It was a busy day at the studio. I trimmed a few more bowls and glazed a vase and a tile. Here are a few finished pieces that came out of the kiln. It is good to see the finished work so that I can understand how to use some of these new processes on the rest of my pieces.

9/14 Orvieto’s Funicolar and the Underground

Posted on: September 14th, 2014 by

 

The funicolar that brings you from the lower part of the town to the upper older Orvieto.

The funicolar that brings you from the lower part of the town to the upper older Orvieto.

The tracks going up to Old Orvieto.

The tracks going up to Old Orvieto.

One of the 1200 underground caves in Orvieto.

One of the 1200 underground caves in Orvieto.

A cave that was used for making olive oil.  This would have pressed the olives.

A cave that was used for making olive oil. This would have pressed the olives.

A cave that was used to raise pigeons.  They found that pigeons were cheaper than chickens because they fed themselves.  They just needed to leave a window open so that they could get out.

A cave that was used to raise pigeons. They found that pigeons were cheaper than chickens because they fed themselves. They just needed to leave a window open so that they could get out.

Went to Orvieto this afternoon. I decided to leave my bike at the bottom of the hill and to take funicolar from the lower part of Orvieto to upper part of the the city. I took the tour of the the Orvieto Underground. There are 1200 man-made tunnels underneath Orvieto. The earliest tunnels were for protection. There was a time when Orvieto was so crowded that they needed the underground to get enough space to get their work done. This was the case in the first cave in which they would process and press olive oil. The caves also have a perfect temperature for storing olive oil. The second cave was for raising pigeons. They found that pigeons were cheaper than chickens because the pigeon would go out and feed themselves. They just needed to give the pigeons a window. The pigeon caves went on and on. Most houses in the upper part of Orvieto have a cave. Marino's grandparents used to live in the older part of the city and they had a tunnel that went over 4 block.

 

Theater Company Comes to  the church basement which is right outside my window.

Theater Company Comes to the church basement which is right outside my window.

The same band that was playing a month ago in Castel Viscardo came to Viceno for the celebration.

The same band that was playing a month ago in Castel Viscardo came to Viceno for the celebration.

Carrying the madonna for  parade required shifts of men.

Carrying the madonna for parade required shifts of men.

Down one street .

Down one street .

Up another street in which we were blocking traffic.

Up another street in which we were blocking traffic.

I love the Police woman that is blocking the traffic.

I love the Police woman that is blocking the traffic.

The parade started and ended with bells and firework!

The parade started and ended with bells and firework!

Nadia my B&B owner made Lasagna and saved some for me.  It was the best lasagna.

Nadia my B&B owner made Lasagna and saved some for me. It was the best lasagna.

The pictures pretty much tell the story of the Madonna dell Grazie Celebration in Viceno, Italy. I like seeing this local culture. It seems so foreign that there would be a town parade for a religious purpose. It is interesting how there is only one church. There is only one space big enough for entertainment and that is the church, the church basement and church piazza.

 

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Majolica altar in the Basilica of Holy Sepulchre

Majolica altar in the Basilica of Holy Sepulchre

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Torre Julia de Jacopo Ceramic Museum is at the Visitor Center in Acquapendente. When I went there this week they said that the museum is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I got there right at 10 when it was to open and found out that I had to go to another ceramic museum called Town Museum and then with the same ticket I could come back to Torre Julia de Jacopo Museum. Town museum was great. Acquapendente was the another center for ceramics in the 1500's and there were many potteries. Town museum had many rooms with medeival pottery that was collected during excavation of potteries in Acquapendente. I then went back to Torre Julia de Jacopo and the women at the visitor center needed to open up a separate building for me. There were 6 doors to unlock to get me into the museum. After she opened the doors she just left me in the museum. I have included a large bowl and a large pitcher that I really liked in this museum. The other interesting thing is that you go outside between two different displays. The museum is in a large historic tower so the building is just interesting to be in.
Across the street is Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Legend has it that Queen Mathilda Westphalia was on her way to Rome with a caravan of mules loaded with gold to build up a sanctuary dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre. When they reached Acquapendente, where there was a pagan temple....her mules knelt down and refused to continue. On the following night, the queen had a vision which suggested her to build a church just in that place! The pictures of the crypt are on the lower level of the Basilica.

9/12 Large Brush Stroke Profiles.

Posted on: September 12th, 2014 by

 

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I picked up a local mushroom from Chris' Fruita in Castel Giorgio this morning. It was the best mushroom...just cook in a little olive oil along with eggplant, tomatoes, onion and of course served over pasta. Work on both throwing some bowls today and tried glazing with a large brush. I used the green brush with black stain to outline the profile of the face. I glazed a few other tiles and did some sketching for the glazing of my other vases and bowls. I went out in the middle of the day and the weather changed to "Minnesota". I put on pants and a fleece after lunch. As I walked down the hill there was a weird cloud hanging over Orvieto. Orvieto is the plateau in the shade behind Viceno.

9/11 Loaded a small glaze kiln today.

Posted on: September 11th, 2014 by

 

Biking down into the park with fog in the hills.

Biking down into the park with fog in the hills.

I bike past Torre Alfina into the green park area.

I bike past Torre Alfina into the green park area.

Fog and pine...similar to BWCAW.

Fog and pine...similar to BWCAW.

Huge tree in Monte Rufeno Park.

Huge tree in Monte Rufeno Park.

Rain out my window.

Rain out my window.

Marino demonstrating squirting water from a syringe so that you get the colors to run...similar to watercolor

Marino demonstrating squirting water from a syringe so that you get the colors to run...similar to watercolor

Two of my glazed pieces ready to load.

Two of my glazed pieces ready to load.

Ready for a glaze in the small kiln.

Ready for a glaze in the small kiln.

I biked past Torre Alfina this morning and down a big hill into the Monte Ruffeno Nature Reserve. There was a sign for a Wild Flower Museum, but it is only opened on weekend so I will have to make it back there this weekend. The beauty of exploring, I just get little pieces of information that keep me going for the next ride. The fog was still in the hills from yesterday's rain. As I got further down the hill I came to a spot that the early morning fog and the pines reminded me of the Boundary Waters. This was just a beautiful woods and view of a river valley. I got home just in time. There was a downpour for about an hour. You can see the view of the rain out of my window. I even had to put my raincoat and rain pants on just to get to Marino's.
Marino demonstrated a new glaze process that he does with majolica. After you do you line drawing, you take a needle and scratch into the glaze so that you create texture. You add your stains and details. At the end you take a syringe and you spurt water out to make the colors move and they move into scratched lines. I completed two of these and we loaded them right into the small kiln. I should be able to see these on Saturday.