Friday, May 21, 2010

Gubbio's treasures.....

You never know when inspiration will strike you...while waiting for a plane in Rome, I found this ruler made of common woods in Italy.

Livio de Marchi
Close to the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice is the shop of Livio de Marchi. He uses wood to depict common items in life.

Livio de Marchi
I have always had a fascination with wood...the unique graining and colors.....

Ducal Palazzo-Gubbio

That silly ruler started me thinking about the history of intarsia, or inlaid decorative wood.

Intarsia can be dated back to ancient Egypt, but is best know from 15th c Italy..

Maple, pear and walnut were the main woods used in the finest pieces...with some cypress and pine for accents.

Only the elite afforded the labor intensive pieces.

The 15th century ushered in the Italian Renaissance, and arabesque ornamentation...

This type of decoration was perfectly suited for intarsia.

One of the best examples of intarsia is from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio, Italy.

If you live in the U.S., you don't have to update your passport to see some of the greatest intarsia work from Italy.

Robert Kirkbride photo-Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum owns the studiolo from the Ducal Palace

Thousands of pieces of pear, walnut, maple and other woods create this incredible work..

Due to the cost of creating inlay, it was mostly used in furniture.

This is a lovely example of pear with ebony....

Musee des Arts Decoratifs

Italy is not the only country know for inlay. This piece is in the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris.

Musee des Arts Decoratifs

They also own this collection of small panels of intarsia .

Fra Giovanni da Verona created this incredible work in the Santa Maria Church in Organo, Verona.

Lucretia Moroni

So, this silly ruler led me to study with Lucretia Moroni of Bergamo, Italy. Lucretia, founder of  Fatto-a-mano, has created incredible faux inlay for the Russian Consulate in New York and mentored under Renzo Mongiardino. 

With the costs of traditional inlay, faux can be a better alternative.

This is my finished panel from her class.

...and  another piece I did, a wine box, which now holds my brushes.

I have  taken several classes with Lucretia learning more traditional Italian painting techniques.

Now, full circle, here is the panel I did in class, mounted on a small cabinet in my home...all from the inspiration of a small ruler.....don't let the small influences around you slip by unnoticed...!


La Dolfina said...

OMG... you and La Contessa are long lost sisters!!!

Ann said...

How fun to study with Lucretia! Great job on your panel and box.

I know that is not easy to do!

Kelle Dame said...

Wow! Beautiful piece! I love your posts because they take me somewhere else and I always learn something new :)
Thanks to you I have found papatotoro on Etsy and she may just do a custom piece of fabric for me! I will do a post soon!

MyFavoriteFrenchAntiques said...

I read and re-read your post, the photos and the story are wonderful.
So true a comparison of us and europe...we make a ruler to measure, Italy makes a ruler that measures, is art...and inspires.
I can see you have many talents!

Unknown said...

I loved your story of the ruler. Your mind works in a wonderful way. I love htat. what a gift it is to be able to let your mind wander like that: from a simple object to a whole tale and illustration, to the application of what you learned that most people would have ignored. Bravo, magnifique as usual.

Verdigris Vie said...

You have such an interesting blog, I can't wait to catch up...

what lovely work...


Merisi said...

What incredible journey of arts and crafts this small wooden ruler took you on: The panel is magnificent, bravissima!

I first encountered Livio de Marchi's work in a Venetian cafe' and have been fascinated by his creations ever since.

Theresa Cheek said...

Thank you all so much! Welcome VIe! I love all of your blogs so much!

studioJudith said...

Remarkable post !
Quite the tutorial for those of us with only stacks of vintage sheet music lying around the house ... . and no knowledge of the finer points of inlay . Your comment on my post had me laughing out loud.
The ducal studiolo is a must see
for my next NY journey -


Gina said...

Dear Theresa, Your work is beautiful. You are a very talented artist. I am so proud to know you as a blogging friend.
Thank you for leaving such wonderful comments for me. I appreciate every single one of them.

stencil helen said...

This was a lovely journey. The examples of inlay were beautiful. I have visited the Met many times and will have to return to find that has that escaped me?
I echo Gina's comment in appreciating the comments that you leave. Thank you for mine.

home before dark said...

Creativity whatever language you choose. Love the cabinet. No I don't. I covet it.

Cashon&Co said...

this was INCREDIBLE!!! I totally enjoyed and appreciate each picture as they are all fantastic. That closet w/ the coat made of wood? how cool is that? but all of them...i gotta go look at each one more time. ;)

Prutha Raithatha said...

love that u got inspired by that ruler... its quite a post!!

follow if u like what u see?


My Castle in Spain said...

what can i always blow me away!! Your posts are little jewels and you are so talented...Your panel is magnificent!
Have a great creative week!

ceecee said...

I raise my glass to you. Wonderful examples, and a stunning piece by the very talented you. Over the years I saved every article I could find on Mongiardino and then reluctantly lent the file to a friend who had it in her car when her car was stolen!
Your posts are always terrific and so very much appreciated.

Theresa Cheek said...

Oh Catherine, Noooooo! We will have to build you a new file on him. True genius in his work.

Trouvais said...

Hi Theresa. What a great assortment of examples, love the pear shaped pear wood inlay. My mind boggles at the people power needed to create these pieces. And your painted piece is just as impressive...I so envy you the opportunity to further your study. Learning through doing. Nice souvenir, too! Trish

Parisbreakfasts said...

an incredible mash-up of exquisite images!

gésbi said...

Lovely, interesting, and yes, I will be back!

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