Icons are finished! and now the silver work has begun.

On Sunday we finished all our icons of the crucifixion.  On Monday morning before we began the silver repousse class to make the budded ends of the cross, we took a picture with all our crosses newly finished.

Today the day was cloudy and rainy, yet the landscape is still the most beautiful there is.  There is no bad view of the valleys and the hills from anywhere in this area or any kind of weather.

Tomorrow, I will post pictures of the silver work.

The whole class with their crosses finished. The budded ends will be covered with repousse silver this week!

Work in the studio and lunch outdoors.

Today is the 4th day of class and tomorrow we will finish the icon.   It was such a beautiful day, Gianpaolo set our lunch table outdoors.  Tomorrow we hope to finish the icon in the morning and then go into the piazza in Greve for a fair and a look at a classics bicycle race that will go through town in the afternoon.

These are some of the pictures of the day, working at the studio, a view from the coffee stand outside the studio, and our beautiful lunch table outdoors.

Students working in the studio










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Visit to Giusto Manetti Battiloro and Galleria dell’Accademia

Today was our day off from iconography to visit the 1870’s factory of Giusto Manetti gold beaters in Florence.  We were met by my contact Eddie Martin who gave us the tour of the factory.   We arrived at 10 AM and were welcomed right away.  We first went upstairs to a classroom where there were three people picking 0.30 micron-thick sheets of gold with wooden  tweezers and palette knife, cutting them by hand and placing them in books.  They were training people in this particular skill.  Then, we were taken to the foundry where they melt the gold ingots and start the rolling process. We saw the melting and cooling of a piece of gold and got to hold a two pound and a one pound ingot of pure gold.  It will probably be the most money I will ever hold in one hand!  After that we went to another room where they begin cutting gold and silver strips in to tiny squares which then begin to be hammered into increasingly thinner sheets.  There are about three different hammering stages and finally then the hammering is done by hand.  These thin sheets are the ones that are cut by hand by the ladies we saw in the classroom; except most of this work is done by many people at home.

Irene and Maga in front of the Giusto Manetti factory.




Students waiting to enter the Giusto Manetti Gold Leaf factory building.

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Beautiful scenery around Terre di Baccio, Greve

Today in class, one of our attendees remarked that when God made the garden of Eden  for Adam and Eve it must have looked just like Greve.

I cannot agree more with that observation as this afternoon while running through the forested hills of the Terre di Baccio Estate with my friend and co-facilitator  Maga. We enjoyed some of the most beautiful views of the country side this afternoon before sunset.

Montefioralle from the hills

the town of Montefioralle on the other side of the hill of Terre di Baccio

Maga and Irene running on the forest trails in the vineyards with cities in the background

Co-owner fo Terre di Baccio Gianpaolo and
my brother Gonzalo picking almonds.

First two days of the icon workshop in Greve

Last Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, we began our iconographic journey in the town of Greve, in the most beautiful Chianti region of Tuscany.

First day of class at the “laboratorio”

The first two days of class were very pleasant and productive.  We started painting today and tomorrow we will work very hard to reach half of the process.  Then on Friday, we will visit Florence for a tour of the ancient Giusto Manetti factory (est. 1780) and the icon collection at the Galleria dell’Academia.




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