In this hands-on course, Rick Shelley will demonstrate the methods of mosaic production. Students will shape stone, glass, and ceramic into tesserae for their projects. Experiment with glues and cements to adhere tesserae onto the wooden panels provided. One class will concentrate on working with the beautiful and traditional practice of gold leafing glass. Using this simple, but remarkable technique, color of extraordinary depth is possible. A truly remarkable medium! Students will be encouraged to design and execute several small mosaics. The focus will be on form, outlines, shadows, and highlights. Simple images, letters, or symbols are ideal subjects.
The International Center for the Arts provides the perfect atmosphere to experience the mosaic arts. Surrounded by the Italian countryside, the studio at Monte Castello di Vibio is an oasis in which to work and learn. The course combines intensive instruction with excursions to nearby mosaic treasures. Roman mosaics, Byzantine mosaics, and contemporary mosaics will be studied for inspiration – and experienced in person! Our goal is to enjoy and create beautiful mosaics while being immersed in this wondrous experience.
All the while, participants will be housed in the remarkably well-preserved Umbrian hill town of Monte Castello di Vibio. Your workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO). Aboard our comfortable private bus, single occupancy accommodations with shared bath (a wide range of upgrades with private bath are available), 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (no meals are served on Friday, our excursion day. Your workshop includes one excursion per week and many additional options are available on weekends for an additional fee. Of course, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided. All supplies are included. The course will include visits to Florence and Rome and while in Rome will visit the Vatican Museums.Finally, as an additional excursion, we will visit Orvieto’s splendid medieval cathedral to see the exterior mosaics and interior frescos.
Our Mosaics in Italy with Rick Shelley workshop is a rare opportunity to study with a master of the medium in a country renowned for some of its greatest examples. All the while, participants will enjoy a rare immersion in traditional culture, enjoy incredible views made possible by our mountaintop location, delight in gourmet and traditional food prepared fresh by expert chefs from fresh, locally sourced ingredients all accompanied by excellent local wine (or optional selections from our wonderful Wine List, for an additional fee). It is a rare experience, available to only 10 participants.
For thirty years, Rick has created mosaics and taught over a thousand students at the Mt. Royal Studio, the Walters Art Museum, the Creative Alliance, and the American Visionary Art Museum. Rick’s approach is inspired by the ancient mosaic masters and he blends their traditional methods with his own in order to create mosaics in all materials and styles. He has executed mosaics for museums, churches, private collections, and gardens.
Rick’s commissions include:
Excursion: Rome: At the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore we will study the Cosmati style floor, the 5th century panel mosaics, and 9th century mosaics above the altar. At the Basilica of San Clemente we will examine the 11th century apse filled with gold tesserae and holy images. At the Palazzo Massimo we will enjoy the finest examples of Roman mosaics and decorative arts (especially Empress Livia’s fantastic frescoed dining room).