A true family business passed on to the younger Baldari
Do you remember ‘art’ projects as a child that involved strips of newspaper and paste made from flour and water? The practice of the “cartapesta” (paper mache) has been practiced as art form in Lecce Italy for centuries.
Used as an inexpensive substitute for plaster, stone or wood; paper ‘carvings’ were popular for church statues and embellishments. A multi-step process that is now duplicated by machines in competing countries, Lecce continues to celebrate skilled artists of cartapesta and Yle Sambati arranged my private visit to meet maestro Baldari in his city labororatorio.
I was fortunate to meet the family Baldari who have created pieces of art for years and are famous for their skill. Although it was very cold outside Sig Baldari was kind enough to show me how the paper was created, pressed and dried. His mother demonstrated how to create a figure from the sheets of the handmade, angles or religious figures. It was amazing to watch her work so quickly.
On a quiet street near the center of Lecce I entered a stone gateway to a large open court yard. The space was set up as a small assembly line where the entire family worked to produce the paper and the figurine or ornament that would become a family or church treasure.
Here is a time that a video tells a 1,000 word.
My focus went to the large caldron of white material that resembled overcooked rice. Quickly I learned this mixture would turn into paper sheets via dipping a “cascio”, a wooden frame with a mesh center, into the gelatinous mixture. The cascio traps the fibers and a sheet of paper is formed. Each piece of paper is removed by hand and placed on a sheet of wool felt. Paper is alternated with felt until you have a ‘stack’. The stack is pressed in an ancient wood press to remove the remaining water. Drying on a clothes line is the final stage.
As I watched, Signora Baldariused the dried sheets of paper to quickly create a figurine with a flowing robe and a mantle (shawl). Her fingers quickly folding and tucked paper to create the resulting angel. The paper is crafted around skeletons made from wire.Ceramic heads, faces and hands can be used with the wire framework.
Iron rods of different sizes (they looked like curling irons, are heated in a brazier. Once glowing the rods are used to shape, color and ‘burn’ the paper clothing. Each figurine will be unique once painted and finished resulting in a unique artwork that is the perfect souvenir to bring home from Italy.
6 thoughts on “Italian Paper mache or Carta Cartapesta”
I have some of the best memories making paper mache sculptures as a kid. My mom was really great at it. Not me so much. Happy A to Z blogging. pensuasion.blogspot.com
Yes, such fun memories, we didnt need computer games to stay busy. for some reason the still photos did not post, shall add those now.i am received lots of spam messages from this a to z and have stopped posting most of the comments, is that happening to you?
That is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.Brief but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!My homepage :: lasertest
Hi there I am so grateful I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Google for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time to look over it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome job.Here is my web site lasertest
Thank you, I've recently been looking for information approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the source?Also visit my weblog – lasertest
I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Studying this info So i am satisfied too express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.I such a lot certainly will make sure to do not omit this web site and give it a look on a constant basis.Feeel free to visitt my site: Clash Of Clans Hack Cheatsavenue