Swipe Left or Click the Arrows Below to View the Slideshow!
Workshop em Mosaico Picassiette com Solange e Alexandre Piffer
JOIN SOLANGE AND ALEXANDRE in Italy!
Come join mosaic artist, Solange Piffer, and her husband, Alexandre, for an extraordinary, creative experience in Tuscany! This small group workshop offers you the opportunity to learn Solange’s unique mosaic techniques, and to immerse yourself in inspiration through her remarkable use of materials, color and design. While creating your own masterpiece, with Solange and Alexandre as your artistic teachers and guides, you’ll stay in a 17th century Italian villa, surrounded by vineyards and olives groves, while enjoying private excursions to medieval hill towns, visits to ancient sites, and delectable meals prepared by a private chef.
Over 5 days of class and instruction, you will be able to work on a subject of your choice while Solange shares her extensive knowledge on creating mosaic portraits, mosaic mosaics, flowers, fabrics, masks or vases with an emphasis on picassiette; cutting, shaping and incorporating dishes and mosaics in mosaics.
Along with demonstrations on how to use hand tools to cut and model china, and tips on how to use materials to add texture, movement and life to your work, each workshop participant will receive individual attention and guidance from both Solange and her husband, Alexandre.
You can expect to leave this extraordinary workshop with a great understanding of how to choose a subject, how to transfer a design to the substrate, and how to place materials of varying thickness to create similarities, flower movement, light and shadow, colors and so much more.
You are highly encouraged to bring along your own unique finds (plates, pottery, teacups, etc.) so that you can personalize your work, by incorporating them into your design. Pieces found at thrift store and yard sales finds can be ideal, as well as pieces of your own broken dishes that you simply can’t throw away and would love to incorporate into your art! Plus, if you can bring along pieces to share it ensures that there will be unique and surprising selections for everyone in the class.
ABOUT Solange and Alexandre
Solange began her artistic journey in 1999, supported by her mother-in-law, who is a fine arts teacher, and encouraged by her husband Alexandre, who works with artistic wrought iron, in addition to mosaic. The first mosaic was born from the desire to decorate her own garden. “We live in a region where the dry period extends for months, when the plants lose their flowers and shine. I wanted to see flowers in the pots! even if they were mosaic!”
Living far from big cities, in Pompeii, Brazil, Solange and Alexandre are often forced to recycle objects, so they began to view broken crockery, or even a ceramic fragment, as potential material for mosaics. As Solange has said, “The whole learning process made it possible for us to fly freely and do what we like to do, the way we want to do, with the material we want to use. It is a lot of fun to be able to express yourself through the mosaic. ”
In the past 7 years Solange began teaching her techniques to others, along with Alexandre, including international trips, such as Australia, where she conducted her workshops in 8 cities including a Lecture at MAANZ, in Canberra. During this time she has continued to improve her technical knowledge, commenting that her creation process “involves, in most cases, a new challenge that flows easily in a mental visualization, but to take shape, it ends up requiring more energy in the search for technical problem solving”.
Solange works daily on mosaics, as a main source of income, alternating between commissions, works for research, and development of techniques. Her specialty is the mosaic “picassiete”, in which she uses the fragments of crockery that are cut, worked and de-burred with pulley and sandpaper pliers.
Her dream is to not only depend on mosaic as a source of income, but to make it an instrument to support people who need a therapeutic activity, through a social institution.
GET READY TO LEARN …
- How to choose a subject for your class project
- How to choose materials
- How to transfer an image to the substrate
- Cutting and positioning techniques
- Hints and tips for using irregular materials
- How to create light and shadow
- Ways to work spontaneously
- Best tools to use on your project
- How to achieve a 3 dimensional image
- Structure & expression
- How to study the movement of flowers
- Working with molds
- Shading and directionality
- Cutting techniques
- How to correctly use mortar
Day 1 ~ Sunday, May 8: Arrival Poggio alle Trese
- Highlights: Arrival from Rome Airport, welcome by team Strada Toscana, workshop introduction with Solange and Alexandre Piffer
Upon your arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, our private drivers will transport you to the Italian countryside and beautiful Villa Poggio alle Trese. After some time to freshen up and recharge, you’ll enjoy a friendly welcome by your hosting team, followed by an overview of this fabulous workshop with Solange and Alexandre. Afterwards you’ll have some time to explore the villa and grounds, and to get to know your fellow students, followed by apertivo and a delectable welcome dinner prepared by chef Lorenza.
Day 2 ~ Monday, May 9: at Villa
- Highlights: Instruction with Solange and Alexandre, olive grove walk, fireside bruschetta lesson
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning after a delicious breakfast at the villa, you’ll join Solange and Alexandre in the studio space (which you will have access to 24/7) for an exciting morning of getting started on your project! Today’s class topics include a demonstration of tools, your choice of a theme, studying effects – including how to achieve a 3-dimensional effect, structure & expression, the study of movement in flowers, using molds, how to transfer your image to the substrate, shading and directionality. It’s going to be a full day of learning and inspiration!
A light lunch will be served up mid-day, followed by continued instruction into the afternoon. Later in the day, it’s time to take a break and walk along the estate’s sweeping olive groves, where you’ll see olive trees that are centuries-old. Afterwards, we continue to the villa’s outdoor fireplace for a bruschetta-making lesson and aperitivo with delightful Paola, where you’ll taste the estate’s exceptional olive oil drizzled over toasted Tuscan bread. Delicious! Dinner follows, featuring local specialties and wine.
Day 3 – Tuesday, May 10: Chiusi
- Highlights: Excursion to Chiusi, visit to Lino’s second hand shop, instruction at the villa
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning after breakfast it’s off to the nearby village of Chiusi, with its ancient foundations that date back 3,000 years to the Etruscan civilization. Here you’ll find examples of mosaics from both the Roman and medieval era, while paying a visit to the town’s exceptional ancient artifacts museum and its uniquely decorated 14th century cathedral. Then we continue to the outskirts of town and our friend, Lino’s, second-hand shop. While you browse for dishes and shards you might use in your mosaic project, don’t miss the vast display of antique wine demijohns and other local objects.
Afterwards it’s back to the villa, and the studio, to continue working on your project. You’ll enjoy a working lunch as Solange and Alexandre provide individual guidance and instruction on color, tone and movements, as well as choice of materials and practice with cutting techniques. Later in the day, you’ll gather together with your fellow students for a laidback aperitivo, followed by another delectable dinner.
Day 4 ~ Wednesday, May 11: at Villa
- Highlights: instruction with Solange and Alexandre, herb walk with Lorenza
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning after breakfast at the villa, you’ll once again join Solange and Alexandre in the studio space to begin a full day of instruction as you work on your project. Your expert teachers will work with you individually as you apply the multitude of mosaic techniques you’ve been learning. What fun!
A light lunch will be served up mid-day, followed by continued instruction and project work into the afternoon. Later in the day, it’s time to take a break with chef Lorenza, as she guides you on a short “herb walk” near the villa, where you’ll learn her best-kept secrets about using herbs – including wild varieties – for both cooking and wellness. After all, Lorenza has written the book on this topic – quite literally. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a casual apertivo followed by a delicious herb-inspired dinner.
Day 5 ~ Thursday, May 12: Orvieto
This morning, after another abundant breakfast at the villa, you’re in for a treat as our drivers transport you to the 12th century Abbadia di Orvieto, on the outskirts of the town of Orvieto. Here, in addition to taking a tour of the spectacular ruins of the abby, you’ll visit inside the ancient chapel with its stunning marble-mosaic pavement. What a treasure! After coffee and snacks in the medieval courtyard, it’s off to Orvieto itself where you’ll have free time for shopping, wandering and enjoying lunch on your own. The Orvieto Duomo is a must-see with its breathtaking facade, as well as the Renaissance frescoes inside.
After lunch, it’s back to the villa for an afternoon of working on your project – filled with awe and inspiration from your excursion! – along with guidance and individual instruction from Solange and Alexandre. In late afternoon it’s time to gather for aperitivo together followed by another fabulous dinner prepared by chef Lorenza.
Day 6 ~ Friday, May 13: at Villa
This morning after breakfast with your teachers and fellow students, it’s off to the on-site studio for a full day of working on your project. Now things are really coming together as Solange and Alexandre guide you with retouching and using mortar, along with a review of papers, and any final questions you might have. Just before lunch you’ll be donning an apron for an oh-so-fun pasta making lesson with chef Lorenza, where you’ll learn all the ins and outs of making authentic Italian pasta. Lunch follows, featuring (you guessed it!) your handmade pasta!
In the afternoon you’ll be putting any final touches on your work before a grand finale photo is taken. Then, after cleanup, a special apertivo/dinner awaits, along with the opportunity to celebrate one another’s final projects and an incredible week spent together with Solange and Alexandre.
Day 6 ~ Saturday, May 14: Departure
Early morning departure for Rome Fiumicino Airport
VENUE Villa Poggio alle Trese
Poggio alle Trese has been a part of a family estate for four centuries – an estate that includes stunning olive groves, sweeping vineyards and a precious little lake tucked into the nearby forest. The villa itself sits upon the very border of Tuscany and Umbria, an area that was prone to invasions by the Duke of Tuscany (back when feudal battles were the norm), and was lovingly restored by the family 12 years ago. The renovation included updates and redos to the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms – all done with classy, traditional touches. The result is a stately structure that reflects its history with grace, while it beckons to modern-day guests who love sumptuous sleeping rooms with characteristic touches.
- 6 nights stay at elegant Villa Poggio alle Trese (The entire villa is reserved exclusively for our group!)
- Private transportation to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure days
- Private transportation service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
- All breakfasts with a multitude of delicious choices, plus teas, juices and made-to-order Italian coffee
- 4 lunches
- 6 delectable dinners featuring regional specialties and accompanied by regional wines
- Entrance fees to all sites included in trip itinerary
- Daily accompaniment with a Strada Toscana team host or guide
- 5 Days of instruction with Solange and Alexandre Piffer (Please note that Solange and Alexandre’s two children – 10 and 16 years old – travel with them for their international workshops.)
- Workbook with instructions to use throughout the class
- China, ceramics, bases, drawings, dyes, glass gems, textures, glue, mortar and grouting
- Post-class workbook with step-by-step explanations of what you learned during the workshop
- Access to videos and online guidelines
Not included: Airfare, ground or water transportation outside of that listed in the trip itinerary, alcoholic drinks, wines or meals ordered “on your own”, gratuities for drivers and villa staff
The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: At Strada Toscana we weave amazing, authentic experiences into every trip, but sometimes unexpected things come up – like an unscheduled closing at a site or restaurant. If that happens, which is rarely does, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of your experience is never at risk, as our team is committed to excellence, along with our vast connections of local Italians.
DATES, DETAILS & PRICES: 6 Night Stay/5 Days of Instruction
- Dates: May 15-20, 2022
- Once you are registered for the class, we will put you directly in touch with Solange to discuss your subject for the class.
- Please note that Solange and Alexandre’s two children – 10 and 16 years old – travel with them for their international workshops 😊
- Trip Price:
- $3,840 USD Double Occupancy – 2 single beds or 1 double bed – w/Ensuite Bath (ideal for two travelers sharing the same room)
- $3,840 USD Single Occupancy w/Shared Bath (max 2 per bathroom of same gender)
- $3,990 USD Single Occupancy w/Ensuite Bath
- $500 deposit is required to reserve your space on this trip
- Please see our Terms and Cancellation Policy.
- Please see our FAQs and Covid-19 Updates.