Once again this spring, the SACI sculpture class (undergraduate, post-bac, and MFA students) went on a field trip into the marble mountains of the Apuan Alps near Pietrasanta and Carrara to see bronze casting and marble carving in action.
They visited the Cooperative in Pietrasanta to see the marble studios where they were able to watch modern methods of sculpting in marble. The class headed to Carrara (30 minutes away) and Colonnata to walk in the beautiful stone quarries — the white cathedral caves of Carrara — the same area where Michelangelo chose his marble to carve some of his most famous works of art. In fact, some students even found chunks of marble for their next carving projects. They also visited the Mosaic Cooperative Studio and artist workshops.
Mariani Fine Art Bronze Foundry is one of the big foundries in the world of sculpture and is located in Pietrasanta, in the Province of Lucca. Normally visitors are not allowed into this foundry because the processes and the artist copyrights are protected, so photos are not usually allowed. But with SACI Sculpture Instructor John Taylor, the class was given special permission to visit the foundry. SACI students were able to watch the molten bronze being poured which takes place at a temperature of 1,300 degrees! They also visited the wax, investment, and patination rooms to see the other steps of the process where artists can bring their sculpture designs to be fabricated.
And the last stop for the trip before heading back to Florence was a spring walk on the beach of Pietrasanta to hunt for interesting objects washed up on the shore. See more images and information about SACI Sculpture class visits to Pietrasanta and Carrara in previous posts. (All photos courtesy of John Taylor.)
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