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Half Block Away

Creativity: Arts and Artisans

Now, as in the Renaissance, a vital community of artists makes Florence a center of innovation and imagination. “Made in Florence” continues to mean distinctive design and high quality craftsmanship. Big companies such as Gucci, Ginori, and The Bridge command international markets, but most Florentine artists work on their own, in small shops. They combine traditional techniques with contemporary style, as they work with metals, textiles, stone, clay, and paint.

We will explore their creative processes, the technologies they use, and the ways they market their work, drawing parallels with Renaissance Florence. To this end, students will visit artisans in their workshops, learn techniques such as fresco painting, gold-leaf, engraving, and mosaic in hands-on classes, and examine examples of Renaissance artistry close up.

There will be opportunities to work with artisans and to ask them about the concepts inspiring their work and about the practical challenges they face in displaying and selling it. To the extent possible, we will give students interested in a particular technique (jewelry, fashion, metal work, for example) to work directly with artisans.

The course, then, emphasizes the “how to:” design strategies, creative techniques, and approaches to producing and marketing art.

Selected students MUST submit their $1,000 deposit ($930 of which will be refunded upon completion of the entire course and in compliance with behavioral contract. It will NOT be refunded if a student withdraws) by November 14, 2014 or they will forfeit their spot to the next person on the waitlist.

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