A Day in the Studio
Today is day three of our six day retreat here in Italy. After our bright and early breakfast at 8:00am, we headed down to the studio classroom space (which is beautiful) for a full day of collage instruction and hands-on application.
This morning the students continued working on their hand-painted paper, making sure they have enough sky blues, sunflower yellows, seedy browns, and leafy greens in their paper palette. Not an easy task!
After another wonderful and relaxing lunch at the villa of Il Colombaio (today we were able to eat outdoors on the patio!) the students came back to class to learn about ripping and gluing. At this stage of the workshop, I give a demonstration of how to eliminate white edges, to apply the glue, to overlap pieces, to tear in shapes that follow the form, and to work from back to front.
Everyone was excited to get to work. The students got their fingers dirty with glue and the room got quiet. After several hours of intense collage work, we broke up the party to enjoy a vineyard tour and wine tasting, just up the hill.
It was a nice walk, to clear our minds of cobwebs and collage glue.
Muro Grosso Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting
Paola and Enrico gave us a tour of the old vines and the new. They explained the wine making process from hand picking grapes to bottling, for both white and red wines. Thank goodness for our fearless leader Pamela of Off The Beaten Strada, who translated every word–our hosts do not speak English.
Some of the oldest vines are the white, and they are 25-30 years old. Muro Grosso also grow red Sangiovese grapes, offering two different types of red wine. This vineyard produces 7000 – 8000 bottles of wine per year, it’s a small operation and they take great pride and care in their product.
The wines produced at this vineyard, and in most of Italy, are not meant to keep on the shelf to age, they are made for drinking!
In the tasting room we enjoyed a wonderful white and two bold reds. Paola told us all about the importance of blending food (did someone say cheese?) with wine, how to look at the “tears” or what we call “legs,” and how to appreciate the fragrance.
Another Great Day
We walked back to the villa in the lovely golden light of twilight. Nina, Mal and I stopped to pick some dried reeds along the roadside, they just looked like interesting texture. At the villa we all sat outside and watched the sunset again, we couln’dt have asked for nicer weather!
Dinner consisted of wild boar ragu with pasta, salad, and roasted chicken with potatoes. Of course we finished the experience with a caramel custard dessert. I think I’m going to be going home with an extra five pounds… not in my suitcase.
Stay tuned, tomorrow we visit the village of Montepulciano, where we will spend time with a copper artisan who’s trade has been handed down through generations. We will also have an opportunity to shop. Montepulciano is known for their leather, colorful wallets and purses are around every corner.
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