Tipografia

DISCLAIMER: I am so excited to share with you the third part of my craftsman project, that I hope to one day complete. I have had the images prepared for a year now, and am just getting to the writing portion of this post. I have the true gift of procrastination. Perhaps I was subconsciously letting this project stay in a “potential” state because I did not want it to come to an end! Or maybe I was busy doing little things called college and life. Either way, I am thrilled to finally publish this post!

This negozio, or shop, was located across one of the campuses of SACI, the art school I attended while in Florence. I passed by this Tipografia shop on my way to my Italian lesson and always caught a glimpse through the windows of this beautiful world of disarray.

I was automatically attracted to the messy, motley display of posters that were taped to the front doors. There was always something occurring inside, every worker was on a mission.

Out of the three shops I photographed (link below), this had to be the most humorous experience. One cold evening, I charged into the shop after class and asked if I could photograph the men and their shop. The owner of the shop was bewildered and answered in Italian, “Here? You want to photograph this?” “Of course!” I answered.

As promised, I entered the shop a few evenings later with my camera in hand. The three men welcomed me in and continued to vigorously work while I played fly on the wall and maneuvered my way into tiny crevices. I was memorized by the rhythmic tempo occurring in the shop. It was obvious to any bystander that each worker new exactly what he had to accomplish that day and he conducted that task with a nonchalant purpose.

There is something so admirable about humans who choose to dedicate their energy to doing a task well, regardless of the amount of times already practiced. There is a sense of loyalty and acceptance. Another element I was infatuated with was the mess. I love it, it is real. The mess was an organized, yet chaotic piece of art just waiting to be captured.

Thank you to the three workers for letting a crazy woman with a camera document your work.

I hope you enjoy this messy masterpiece of a shop!

Other Craftsman Posts:

Frame Work

Mask Making

The Mask Artisan Agostino Dessì

 

I passed by Agostino’s shop every day on my way to class. If the impressive, enormous comedy and tragedy masks weren’t enough to catch one’s eye, then for certain the whimsical display of miniature characters accompanied by two curious yorkie puppies drew you in. I knew from the moment I came across those enticing masks I had to photograph this man and his art.

I mustered up the courage one day and walked in to ask if I could photograph him. It was as if I had access to the wardrobe to Narnia and had entered a new, magical world. Agostino kindly allowed me to join him in his shop while I captured his artistic process. I told him I was learning the language and wished to only speak in Italian. He patiently listened and repeated his answers, despite his ability to fluently speak English. There is something peaceful and reverent about watching Agostino work. His patient heart flows into his patient fingers and he creates with a calm rhythm. I left his shop feeling inspired and full of life.

Agostino is a genuine, kind man with a heart for aspiring artists. I learned he had quite the artist’s journey himself and had studied at multiple pristine academies within Italy, and was taught under knowledgable masters and professors. He fell in love with the city of Firenze (as we all do) and opened his own workshop in 1979. Since his time as a mask artisan he has “created a range of groundbreaking mask” that have gained popularity and inspired local artisans in Florence. Now his daughter, Alice, helps him  run his business and continue the art form. Agostino continues to create masterpieces and he will always “seek continuous evolution” and push the boundaries of the art of mask making. 

I hope you enjoy my visual interpretation of the whimsical world of Agostino Dessì. 

(If you ever find yourself in Florence or want to learn more about Agostino and his art please take a look at his website!)

Paris

I tucked myself away in a corner of a well-known bookstore called Shakespeare and Co. accompanied by Robert Frost and the store’s pet cat. A man played the piano and the music danced in and out of the bookshelves. Time did not exist and my only focus was the words on the page. It was, by definition, a magical moment. 

Weezie and I spent our fall break in the dreamy city of Paris. I had a difficult time creating this post because I could not narrow down the images or think of the words to say. By compiling this, it makes me aware that that is exactly how I would describe Paris: a magical city in which no words can fully explain its essence and no human can fully grasp the experience.

We spent our seven days gawking over Monets, sketching at coffee shops, picnicking by the Seine, getting lost in the gardens of Versailles, and consuming any French food in sight. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with a few of our dear friends, which was the cherry on top of our trip. Au revoir Paris, I hope to see you soon!