Saturday, June 21, 2014

Accademia Di Belle Arti

My apologies to those of you who have some expectations of consistency for this blog's updates. However, I can't say it won't happen again.

In the meantime I was out seeing some of the best sculpture in the world! I'm just going to post a load of pictures. Mostly of the sculpture.

Leo took us to the Accademia Di Belle Arti in Carrara and it was awesome!

 ... and then we saw a few original models used by Canova.


Tomorrow will be pictures from our trip to Florence.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Things to Say Yes to No Matter What

So, I've learned a couple of valuable lessons while in Italy. Among those lessons are a list of things that you should never say no to. So far the list isn't very long but here it is.  Note: The list is not in order of importance.

#1. If you are at a food table with a group and they offer you wine I am telling you the best thing to do is to say yes. Unless you don't care about avoiding the onslaught of wonder and concern. I made the mistake of declining earlier this evening. Apparently no matter how many times you've accepted wine in the past it is better still to accept again.
#2. When offered caffe? With caffe it is the same as wine... just accept the damn thing.

#3. Table Scraps... First lets define "table scrap". For me the table scrap is clearly the food that remains on a table after a meal and that no one wants to eat.  I'm not sure yet but it appears to me that the people who are expected to finish up food still laying on the table after a meal are the young. There seems to be a certain amount of hospitable prodding that's done by the more wise Italian to get the young to eat up the scraps... This is a losing battle and so the young eat.  
#4. Paying for food. Forget about it! You will not pay for food! One of the other ten more forcefully hospitable people in your company will be paying for the food. I still don't know how to handle this situation. Also, if you don't speak Italian you have no hope when it comes to this. Unless you're by yourself or with other non Italian folk... but that doesn't count. 

Pretty much because of the level of hospitality that serves as a second nature to the Italian you're kind of screwed. Especially if you're an American.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


We've been on a few beautiful hikes in the Carrara area... I think I will just post a few photos this time because I'm pretty tired.

    The first hike we went on was to a Villa pretty far into the mountains. I think it took something like 6 or more hours to hike in and back out.

This is the Beginning of the second hike... Because of maximum lameness on my part I have forgotten the name of the place we hiked to but it was still beautiful without a fancy name anyways.

We hiked for a while through the beautiful mountains so it was to my surprise that we came to a cute little village.

We stopped at this little wine bar to take a wine break and taste a couple appetizers.  



 After wine and appetizers we walk through the village to a pizzaria...

 ...where of course we had more wine and more appetizers.

 After Mario's sculpture collapsed onto the table we called it a night. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Process

Okay, finally after many days of carving at studio Corsanini I've made enough progress in the stone to show something. Still the current stage is rough. Probably the equivalent of like 10 minutes of drawing or some ridiculous thing like that. Just imagine how much longer the finishing process in  carving can be than in drawing! Well... I'd rather not so here's how it begins instead.

Steve, Leo, and Andrea getting ready to move the stone from the stone yard to the saw.

 Andrea and Leo placing the model on the stone in order to take more accurate measurements for cutting. This is where I think Andrea said something sassy to Leo and then Leo gave him that "I'm your boss look" I don't really know if that happened for sure because I don't speak Italian but I think I'm close.

 ...and then the first cutting happens...

 Once the stone is cut to size the carving process begins. Points (measurements) are taken from the model and marked onto the stone with what is called macchinetta di punta. This machine was perfected by the old master stone carver Antonio Canova and is still used today. It is only used when carving 1:1 This is called the indirect method to stone carving.

  This is how it looks today after just over a week of roughing out. You can see that it is far from resolved. In Bargue's drawing method I've pretty much just started. 

 ...and then you go to the beach :) 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Introduzione Maria

And then there's that one friend like Maria who is piu bella (more beautiful) than every one around her. She is faster, smarter, and especially better at sculpting. If the normal Italian needs four hours of sleep in order to have full energy the next day (which seems to be true) then Maria only needs two hours and she will still have more energy than the typical Italian. This seriously happens like everyday! I will tell you the story... If you do not want to read the story now is the time you skip past it to look at photos :)

Once upon an Italian time in the early hours of the morning a young and beautiful princess awoke from her tiny bed and began carving on a piece of marble. She worked long and hard under the tuscan sun running back and forth till the work day was over. Before the dusk her masterpiece was complete and despite the long arduous day Maria was full of energy. With little forethought Maria began to run. She ran and ran for miles till she came to the sea. At the place where the sea rises and falls on the beach is where she stood just long enough to take her shoes off. Maria played splashing in the water till the sun was on the horizon and at that time she quickly threw her shoes on. So quickly in fact that she forgot to wipe the mud from her feet and she ran again the miles that led her home. Maria was not tired still... True Story.

 The End.       



                              A few of his sculptures


He freaking carved this without using reference material. 

    Where the Sea rises and falls

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Introduzione #3


What is it about silent people? Why do they usually seem a little more intelligent then the rest of us? Anyways, Rocco is one of those people. Super gentle, very quiet, and more intelligent.

 CNC Machine that Rocco built.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Italian Culture and The Food Table

There are a few things about Italy that I think I've heard before but I don't think I ever really grasped their truthfulness... Until now. I'm calling it the food table for simplification.

#1– The Food Table: I'm not sure if I'm seeing things correctly but I don't think Italians drink water... maybe ever. They for sure don't drink it with their meals. They do however drink wine. I mean they really drink wine with every meal... or grappa.

#2– The Food Table Again: Pretty much Italians only eat pasta or small bread cookies dipped in wine.

#3– After Food But Still at The Food Table: In America dessert is often served after a meal. This happens in Italy but not often, at least I've only seen it once or twice. In Italy coffee or espresso will be served, for sure, after every meal. I'm not so accustomed to this but I did try it and must admit it is superior in some ways. Like after lunch for example, when you just want to digest your food by taking a nap. At this moment going back to work can be quite daunting. Well, the Italian has figured out an effective solution for this moment. You will drink coffee. 


Introduzione #2

Oriano Galloni (The Sniper)

I don't know if he knows I call him the sniper but I do behind his back. I call him that because I think he looks like a sniper in snow camou when he's carving. Also, to me he seems like a quiet person who prefers to be tucked away in the back quietly executing silent souls. At a food table though he's not so quiet. It pleases me when people like Oriano keep a group of other people engaged in conversation and laughing. Not many do it as well as he does. I look forward to the time of day when I get to listen to Oriano as I'm sure many people do.

    Silent Souls

Monday, June 9, 2014



 I hope you will enjoy this blog and the updates of my time during the 2014 Merit Award in Carrara, Italy. Undoubtedly I will enjoy the experience far more :) I will be treating this blog more like a journal with photos (kind of). For me this is better because it relieves me of the pressure of pleasing an audience. With that said, I think the first thing I want to do is introduce the family. After a few days of introductions I'll get on with the activities and work progress etc.

Leonardo Corsanini (The Boss)– More will be said about Leo in later posts. For now it is sufficient to say that he has one of the best hearts of anyone.

 Corsanini Studio



lskdjfla;ksdjfSteve Shaheen– I met Steve at a stone carving workshop offered @ The New York Academy of Art and within the first few moments of our meeting I expected that learning from him would be a great experience. Thus far that holds true.   
 Pretty much Steve never stops working. Even if it means postponing other important things till the work is finished. When he's not working he's still working... In short, he likely works harder and longer than you do and with a better attitude. Not enough good can be said about Steve.


    Steve strapping my stone for cutting.