Portraits, Sacred Art, Artworks, Architecture, MOSAICS
Avevo 11 anni ed avevo appena finito le scuole elementari, quando un mattino, passeggiando per le vie di Valdicastello, il mio paese che era appena uscito, come tutti i paesi della nostra Italia, martoriato e ferito, dalla grande guerra che aveva visto la mia infanzia costellata di privazioni, paura e dolore, mi imbattei in Lino, che faceva l’operaio in una ditta di Pietrasanta, e che seduto sulle scale del monumento, valutandomi con un’occhiata, mi chiese:
“O bimbo, ma tu avresti voglia di imparare a fare il mosaico? La mia ditta cerca un apprendista, ma uno che abbia voglia di lavorare”
Lo guardai, sorrisi e dissi: “Si che avrei voglia, tanta voglia, ma sento il babbo e la mamma e poi vi faccio sapere”.
All’epoca si dava ancora del Voi alle persone più grandi, in segno di rispetto e deferenza, e veniva così, naturale, senza pensarci troppo.
Corsi via, più veloce che potevo, per raccontare alla mamma di questa offerta, così meravigliosa, così più grande di me, che mi faceva sentire già uomo, già adulto e, al mattino dopo, mi alzai con il primo canto del gallo e, con il cuore che mi batteva forte, mi incamminai verso Pietrasanta con una borsa, grande, più grande di me, che toccava quasi per terra e che conteneva il mio pranzo.
La passeggiata, quella mattina, come per tutte le mattine successive, fu breve, perché per la strada incontrai Napoleone dell’Erné, che mi dette un passaggio in bicicletta, così che arrivai in anticipo davanti al cancello dalla ditta Ferrari&Bacci.
Entrai, cominciai a guardarmi intorno e scoprii un mondo fatto di colori, forme, figure, minuscoli pezzetti di smalti colorati, grandi banconi di legno sui quali, gli operai stavano ricurvi con un martellino in mano, fischiettando una canzone, in allegria.
Gli operai erano 6 e a pensarci bene oggi, non erano molto più adulti di me, visto che avevano tra 18 e i 20 anni, ma a me, quel giorno, sembrarono uomini fatti…
Ricordo che il più grande di tutti aveva solo 30 anni, ma all’epoca a 30 anni eravamo adulti, con famiglia e figli.
All’epoca avevamo altre responsabilità: dovevamo ricostruire una nazione.
Dopo una breve visita, breve perché, il lavoro era tanto e tempo da perdere non ce n’era, Il Ferrari, così lo chiamavamo e così lo chiamai per il resto della nostra vita insieme, mi diede un paio di forbici e mi disse:” Ricopiale su un foglio e poi riempi la forma di mosaici”, allungandomi una scatolina piena zeppa di pezzetti di smalti multicolori.
Sacred Art, Artworks, MOSAICS
Sometimes I believe my job is a blessing.
A blessing, someone may think, because of the money it involves.
No, I’d answer, because of the people it involves.
My job puts me in touch, on a daily basis, with people all over the world: different nationalities, different traditions, different customs, but one same purpose: art for art’s sake.
Some of them come and go, like the jobs they bring with them.
Some of them stay, forever, with me.
I was thinking about this when I met with Barbara, my blogger, in a cold and wet February morning evening, when everybody was already out, busy shopping in the lively and colourful streets of Pietrasanta during the San Biagio’s fun fair.
Artworks, Architecture, MOSAICS
MOSAICS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE: A DREAM COME TRUE
We all tend to believe that mosaics are mainly meant for Art, Churches, Temples and monuments celebrating the grand deeds of historical figures or religious leaders.
But this is not always true.
Mosaics may also become part of your everyday life.
They may enrich the walls of your house, the facings of your shower and the floor of your bathroom.
It all depends on the taste and on the style you want your house to have and your life to be.
Portraits, Sacred Art, Artworks, Architecture
Leaving my country always provides me with a mixture of excitement and sadness: I am ready for new adventures and sorry to leave behind me my family, my company and my daily routine.
This is what I was thinking, while waiting for my Pisa-Rome flight on a wonderful and sunny July day, when the telephone rang.
It was Barbara, my blogger, who, knowing I was about to leave for a week, wanted to catch up with me and update me with the blog progress.
It was her idea that I would keep a diary where to jot down what would happen during my stay in Boston. I liked the idea and agreed with her I’d do it.
After the usual long and boring wait, that I made fruitful with several other phone calls about a new project I am working on, off I went flying over the magical Mediterranean sea, that I love so much, with a sight I never get tired of, especially when I have a window seat, like in this short and enjoyable flight.
I am flying to Boston to participate in a conference about mosaics and this makes me nervous and excited, since it is going to be the first time that I do a public speech on the topic.
To people like me, it is easier do things than talk about them, but this time I feel it is time to prove myself on this and I take advantage of the long flying hours to prepare a schedule of topics I will expose to the audience: the creation of a mosaic, its installation, its maintenance... topics that are common to me but still unknown to the mass.
I land on a lovely summer night under a sky covered with fireworks… what a welcome!!
I could have done with less
THAT SENSE OF EMPTINESS
In 1990 I joined Ferrari&Bacci and started that wonderful adventure that is my work in the mosaic business.
It was a special year when many unique things happened: the two sides of Germany were reunited and Germany became one; the football world championship was held in Italy and Italy was eliminated by Argentina in the semi-final… what a pity…; and in South Africa, apartheid was forever eliminated and black people could start living a better and more dignified life.
While the world at large was rich in events, my personal world became, all of a sudden, full of interest and novelty and I left Italy to go to Orlando to work on what was, at the time, my first big assignment in the mosaic business.
Happiness, anxiety, excitement…
These were the emotions I experienced on my long flight to Orlando, where I was going to stay for a 2 months’ period to install the largest mosaic I had worked on, till then.
By the moment I touched down I felt an adventure was about to begin and felt ready for that.
I was warmly welcomed by the family that managed the Orlando graveyard, that, after a while, became family to me, in the real sense of the word: people I shared my days and nights with; people I shared my success and worries with, people that became friends and then best friends.
We became so close that I came to choose David L. Neel the graveyard manager’s son, as my best man, for my wedding with Silvia, on my coming back home, but that’s another story…
I started working and, day after day, the mosaic took shape and colours became vivid in each single detail: