The workshops in which the art of mosaic making is preserved and passed on
From Roman times, through the Byzantines and Christian sacred art, the art of mosaic making is still alive in Ravenna today, thanks to the artisans and the numerous art workshops present in the city.
So, it is fascinating to explore the tradition by means of the tour itinerary devoted to the knowledge of mosaic and by visiting the mosaic workshops themselves in both the old town centre and on the outskirts of Ravenna.
Furnishings, frames, mirrors, costume jewellery, copies of old masterpieces and ornaments: pure creativity that confirms the love of its own history and the enduring bond with this artform.
Fortunately for Ravenna, a new generation of artists, charged with the energy of innovation, is carrying forward the language of mosaic without, however, losing sight of its roots.
A case in point is KokoMosaico, a workshop opened in 2005, in 136 via di Roma by a young artist couple.
Arianna Gallo, creates her own mosaics, but above all she reproduces, in mosaic tesserae, the works of international artists, portraits taken from photographs or details of great masterpieces of the past.
She is flanked by her husband Luca Barberini, an artist who has already made a name for himself with a mosaic series, Condominio, small scenes of everyday life from the window, a set of unique and numbered works.
Luca believes in the topicality of mosaic art and focuses on contemporary issues drawn from the press, such as the environment, immigration, and man; a minute figure caught up in a sort of hellish bedlam, grappling with the eternal struggle for survival (http://kokomosaico.com/it– firstname.lastname@example.org).
Then there is studio Annafietta, known for the mosaic tiles that mark the streets of the historic centre, with its 20 years hands-on experience and a workshop boutique right in front of the Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, in via Argentario 21. Anna Fietta Finelli won the competition organised by the municipality to produce nameplates for the streets in the centre of Ravenna.
After her studies in restoration and a flourishing business as an antique dealer, Anna Finelli chose to dedicate herself entirely to mosaics, creating her own recurring motifs – such as floral decorations or the marine world and creating furnishing accessories such as her famous saraghine.
Akomena Mosaico boasts thirty years of experience and local presence, thanks to the initiative of Francesca Fabbri, who, sensing a return of taste for the applied arts.
In the late eighties, relaunched it by opening up to international artists and collaborations.
So much so that in 1995 she was invited as a testimonial to the Milan Triennale, followed in 1996 by a commission for the tomb of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev and in 2008, at the invitation of the Indian government, for the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial. Francesca’s atelier is in via Francesco Baracca 56 in Ravenna, while the gift shop is in the very heart of the city, via Giuliano Argentario 3.
An eye for fashion and pop elegance is guaranteed by Barbara Liverani, a maniac for detail and lover of colour, who changed her profession from interior decorator to that of mosaicist, dedicated to transforming mosaics into jewellery; ornaments that are synonymous with femininity.
From her shop in Via Girolamo Rossi 21, a side street in the historical centre, Barbara Liverani Studio has become the reference atelier for visitors in search of that special gift, but also for the people of Ravenna who, when it comes to mosaics, never seem to get enough of them.
Her little joys have also been featured in the prestigious National Geographic magazine.