Printing in Venice

We have printed our plates a second time, with a quite good result. There was a mark from a fold in the press blanket, but we decided it was a ghost of Venice.

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Here’s me and Chris lifting the print from the press.

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Venice continues to enchant us. Here’s the Bridge of Sighs, crowded with people.

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Venice has many hidden corners. The eye leads you on to explore just that little bit further. What lies beyond the next corner?

Dismayed in Venice

Various minor disasters befell us yesterday:
1. Daphne washed her knickers, and in pegging them, Venetian style, to the washing line outside her window, saw two pairs flutter down like white doves to the children’s playground four floors below. Would her language skills be up to retrieving them while maintaining her dignity? Answer: Yes. Always. She is a woman of style.
2. We returned from the studio exhausted from a full day of printing to find the power had failed. No electric light, no hot water. Non Fontionna. ( The very first sentence we heard in Italian on our arrival in Venice! Was it a sign? ) Appeals to have it fixed seemed to go nowhere. It would be OK tomorrow. It is what you should expect in a seventeenth century building. We were being a bit precious. Look at the view of the canal! How to respond? We dined by candlelight and awaited the morning. Pollo con limone e aglio and ratatouille followed by panforte, accompanied by prosecco.
Late today, as promised, power was restored, and with it, communications.
3. Nicki and I got lost. Again.
4. Nicki has been bitten on the thigh several times, but not by a gondolier.

However, we had some success in the studio. We made two prints from the plates we had prepared. The plates are made from found materials sourced in Venice, including a bit of our building which had fallen off onto the balcony. Non Fontionna. So theres a little piece of the seventeenth century in our print.

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The inked plates on the press bed.

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Our finished print : The Textures of Venice. The colors are the reds and browns of the city. The next one will be in jade green, aqua and blue and we have begun to make the plates for it. Conditions in the studio make it very difficult to make work to the standard one would achieve at home, but we are pleased with what we have achieved so far.
so far

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Another view from our apartment.

Lost in Venice

We have porridge! Daphne and Nicki found some fiocchi d’avena at the Rialto. Not the a plastic bag full of rough cut oats, but a very sophisticated tin. It remains to be seen what the contents look like.

Despite last nights experience, I took the wrong vaporetto again this morning, and arrived at the studio late and a bit distracted. Daphne and Nicki arrived sometime later, and both spent some time
on the drypoint I had started. Here’s Daphne working away:

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We had another studio lunch – this time penne with tuna and tomato, and a special lamb shaped Easter cake contributed by Melody, like a panettone. Here we all are:

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Christa, Stefano, Gianfranco, Christiana, Melody, Nicki and Daphne with the remnants of the cake.

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Christa is making a book which includes her drawings and poetry.

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Nicki’s First Print

A bit of a slow start today. We finally arrived at the studio at around noon.

However, Nicki made her first print today – her first print ever, that is! It is a dry point on recycled aluminum. Unfortunately, the paper was pretty awful.

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Here she is, with her work, Textures of Venice.

Ben and Jenny are going home tomorrow, so everybody at the studio had a lunch, cooked by Gianfranco, in their honour. Since Jenny is vegetarian, it was spaghetti con pomodori, with olives.
There was a glass of red wine, and Gianfranco’s good coffee afterwards.

Here is Ben with the woodcut blocks for his large format prints.

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He struggled to get them into a tube to transport them back to England. Because of the weight of the paper and the tube, he is desperately hoping he can get them accepted as on board luggage on the plane.

On the way back to our apartment afterwards, we stopped in at an art and hardware store to find materials for the collagraphs we will be making. I made risotto with rocket and mushrooms for dinner, and we bought some delicious small cakes. A glass of prosecco, and an early night for us all.

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