Our Visitors & The End Of The 2nd Semester In Printmaking

Since April, we have had friends coming to stay with us. It has been good to have familiar faces drop in and catch up on news from home.

At the end of March we had Eddie and Cinzia stay for a few days.
They were in the middle of their holiday, having come from Slovenia and heading to Spain after they left us.

Maris & Mike dropped in to see us when they visited Florence for day during their Intrepid tour of Italy.

In May we had Tony (one of Guy's Kiwi friends), his wife Suraya and their two daughters come to stay for a couple of weeks.
Guy went down to meet them at Positano on the Amalfi Coast (an earlier blog) and then brought them back to Florence on the train. While they were here, we travelled to Pisa and Lucca and showed them around Florence. They also went to Venice on their own for a few days.

At the end of May, my sister Lorraine was here - she used our place as a base for further travels and then left the day before Kim & Jan (from Sydney) arrived mid-June.

Kim & Jan stayed for 10 days and left yesterday for a night in Rome before flying back to Australia.
They had been to Florence before with us (when we did our first trip here to check things out), so we spent the time travelling to different places outside of Florence (Venice for 2 nights, Pisa, Lucca, Siena and a factory tour of the Ducati factory in Bologna (will be described in a separate blog).
Going to Venice was our 2nd time and because none of us were that interested in the hordes of crowds that were in the city, we decided to get a 2-day pass for the vaporettos (water taxis) and we visited some of the outer islands (Cimitario, Murano, Burano, Lido, Torchetto).
We also did a circuit of the main island of Venice to see a different perspective to the city.
The four of us really enjoyed it.

Now that everyone has gone, we have a week here in Florence to get reorganised before we leave for the Island of Giglio for 3 days (you might remember the Costa Concordia Cruise Ship crashed there a few years ago) to get away from the summer heat that is slowly building up.
Today (28th June), it is 32 degrees and it is slowly getting hotter though next week, heading to high of 37 next Friday!

Lorraine has friends on Giglio and stayed with one of them for a week or so while she was here.
It looked like a really nice (and quiet) place in her photos, so Lyn jumped on the internet and found somewhere to stay with Airbnb. We are going there on Saturday returning on Tuesday for one day before flying off to the UK to stay with Liam and family for a week.
From mid-July, we have a lot of other things to do, places to go and more visitors staying with us before Lyn returns to Il Bisonte in September for her last 3 months.
Not sure when we will have time to write the blog!

Finishing Lithografia
We finally finished drawing on our stones - I did a big fish! It's a groper, but in Italian they call it a "cernia". I was quite pleased with it - I found a great photo on Google images and drew it using crayon, and touche (which is like a greasy ink).
Anyway, the first 5 of us trooped down to Filipo's lithography print workshop to watch him print them. The first few stops printed well, then Lucia's didn't print at all - apparently she had watered down her touche too much and it all wiped off! She had to start grinding the stone again to do another drawing.
Then came my stone - the stones were all different thicknesses and the press had to be adjusted for each stone, so guess what happened? My stone broke....!!!!
This meant that both Lucia and I spent the afternoon regrinding our stones.
I don't know if I learned that much about lithography doing this workshop, because we weren't printing the stones ourselves. We didn't get to etch the stones and I don't think anyone really understands what we were doing. Anyway, that's something I may explore when I get back to Australia.
Starting the fish
The first Cernia is finished!
The lithography press
Etching the stone
The stone on the press
The broken stone...argh!
The only proof print I got!! It was on scrap paper
Lucia's stone (see nothing left!!)
Lucia's not happy
My second Cernia on the stone- I forgot to photograph the print!
End of Semester
I can't believe how quickly the first 6 months have gone- and all those who said I would be speaking fluent Italian by now were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!
My spoken Italian is still pathetic, but I can understand most of what goes on in class, although occasionally I have no idea! My fellow students are all becoming quite good at understanding me and even Manuel is speaking some English.
I didn't realise that Tony would be leaving but his scholarship was only for 6 months.
Selena is also leaving but both of them are going to come back for a few afternoons a week next semester.
Theo has decided to stay for the rest of the year and will go back to the UK for the holidays to earn some money to live.
We had a farewell dinner for those leaving and to say goodbye before the holidays. We will be on holidays from the 19th June to the 9th of September, enough time for Guy and I to do a bit more travelling.

Manuel trying his own sangria
The lunch table
The three stooges - Tony, Nino and Federico

Lucia having a chuckle about something!
Tony and Selena get their certificates

1 comment:

  1. Really sorry that your stone broke Lyn, but the print you got looks OK. It's an interesting concept. Can't believe how many visitors you've had! Have a wonderful summer off. The island stay sounds idyllic - Enjoy!