After a short trip around La Meridiana, we had dinner at a restaurant nearby, and we were all sent home to our lodging. Some of the participants’ lodging were right in the school’s property, and the others including myself, are staying in old farm houses near the school. I am sharing the farm house with Pankhuri from India, her father, Marina, Lucia and her husband from Italy. When we were brought to our accommodations, I thought to myself, “Wow, this is quite a long walk going to school for a week. I will lose some kilos here!”
We make sure that we take photos on our way to La Meridiana. The workshop starts at 9:30 but there are days when we start walking at 8:00AM because it’s really hot in the morning. It’s such an unforgettable experience to walk from the farm house going to the school. The land looks so organized and creatively planned out. Italians think long-term when they are building houses, planting trees, and creating roads, etc. Very impressive!
I specifically requested to have a room to myself. That’s just how I am. I can’t sleep when there are other people in the room. I get easily distracted and I will stay up all night! I’m a very light sleeper, yes. But sharing a house with someone was definitely a great idea. Pankhuri, please don’t forget to send me the recipe of your very exotic tasting potatoes. We were all starting to feel at home, but just like any other trip, it will come to a point of going back home.
The following day is the beginning of our Porcelain jewelry workshop with Luca Tripaldi. He starts his workshop with a slideshow presentation of what we can create out of clay. It’s very inspiring to see what can be made out of porcelain. I was struggling in the beginning because I am more familiar with stoneware clay. Porcelain dries up so quickly when used in small amounts. It is very prone to cracking, just like any other clay. But I like how soft and smooth the clay feels between my hands. I am a Potter but I make functional pots most of the time. Making jewelry with clay is definitely something anyone can make in or out of a pottery studio!
After watching some images on Powerpoint, Luca shows a demonstration of different techniques with Porcelain clay. I’ve missed being a student and this is such a great way to spend a holiday – learn new techniques!
I make sure that I hear everything loud and clear. With my little notebook and pen, I surely wrote down everything that I learned. What I like about the workshop is this: I can apply the techniques with making pottery too! Yey!
I have to admit, Luca Tripaldi (in black) is a world class instructor. He handles himself with so much grace, confidence, and knowledge that I haven’t seen in a long time from a Potter! And I have to add, that he was very patient with all twelve female participants! I’ve never seen teaching this elegant in my life. What a blessing to see it right before my very eyes! Thank You, Luca, for sharing with us your creativity. You’ve got class indeed and I learned a lot from you! Cheers to you and your many plans in the future. They will all come true, one day at a time. I will definitely invite you to come to Manila one of these days to teach and invite participants from around the world as well. It’s going to be great, Philippine style! : )
Here’s my spot which I’ve shared with four amazing ladies. It was great getting to know everyone as we keep coming to the school for six days. I don’t know how I could get porcelain in Manila, but I will surely try Luca’s recipe and see if it will work. If not, there’s always Porcelain land which is very close to Manila. Hello China!
We come here to watch the sunset after the workshop. The sun starts to hide at almost 9:00PM, so we have a lot of time to catch the sunset. But we make sure that we don’t keep Luca from his rest time. It is important that a teacher gets his well-deserved rest.
There are several spots to choose from to have a relaxing time. The workshop is intensive and there’s really no time to rest until the class is over for the day. By the time we finish our projects, we start thinking of our beds ,and the next great meal that will be served the next day for lunch : )
The best time of the day for me is this: Luca lays out the round kiln shelves on the red bricks facing the Tuscan landscape. He would call us and asks us to get our pieces! It feels like Christmas everyday! Black clay, white clay, green clay, yellow clay, green clay, red clay, etc. Lovely! Lovely! Lovely!
More posts coming up!