Wandering and Wondering

Friday, February 9, 2007

Oltrano walking tour and L'Ippogrifo Stampe D'Arte

Today I went on a walking tour to Oltrano, "the other side of the river", with a small group from university.

Oltrano walking tour


We visited a traditional printing laboratory called L'Ippogrifo Stampe D'Arte, which still uses the same technique that was originally developed in Florence over 500 years ago.

Front entrance to L'Ippogrifo Stampe d'Arte


The store is owned and operated by artist Gianni Raffaelli and his wife. After some brief introductions, Gianni was kind enough to explain the printing process to us.

Artist Gianni Raffaelli explains the printing process


Originally, this printing technique was mainly used for the printing of technical documents:

Original print of a technical document


These days it is only used for art:

Original print of a landscape in Rome


To create the prints, a copper plate is first coated with a protective wax and the artwork is drawn into the wax.

Creating the copper etching


The plate is then immersed in acid, which eats away at the exposed copper and forms etchings.

Copper etching from which the prints are made


The next step involves coating the copper etching with ink.

Coating the etching with ink


Finally, the copper etching is placed underneath a sheet of paper and passed through a press.

Placing the etching and paper in the press


At the end, we have a fabulous original print!

The finished print


All in all it was a great afternoon out in Florence. Many thanks to Gianni Raffaelli and his wife for their time.

Oltrano walking tour group photo


From the left: Michael, Kelly, Candice, Martina (our leader) and Ishmael.

Oltrano walking tour group photo


From the left: Michael, Kelly, Darren (photographer), Martina (our leader) and Ishmael.

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