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Trusting the path. Enjoying the journey!

Posted on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

So anyone that knows me really well knows that I thoroughly enjoy the journey life takes me on through the observation of “signs” usually in the form of animals in our beautiful natural world.

The Mourning Dove is a favorite as they are a reminder of a rite of passage I went through as a young adult. Now 13 years later they have come back and 2 doves have “woven” a nest by my dining room window.

Look closely! Here’s Lucy!! (as I call her) patiently sitting on her clutch within the Bougainvillia.  It  has been a full week now, and I understand 1 more to go before the tiny eggs hatch….how exciting!!

lucy

So here it was, the final sign I needed to follow a dream I have had ever since acquiring my grandmothers hand woven linens a long time ago. “I will try and learn how to weave!”

A humble beginner’s class will be my first foray into this ancient craft. I am unsure of how I will fair so I will begin the journey as a tribute to my heritage, a continuous attempt to forge a stronger connection to my Italian roots, and I will  try and just ‘trust’ where it leads. I will trust the path and enjoy the journey…wanna come for the ride??

weaving 1

I am transported back to a trip to Calabria in the summer of 2008 where I was astonished by the quality and abundance of hand woven linens within the drawers and cupboards of this one household consisting of 4 special women.

weaving 2

Carefully preserved in darkness and an abundance of moth balls I was treated by a private viewing and colorful display I will never forget!

weaving 3

I make a new friend, her name is Vittoria after her grandmother. She will be the proud beneficiary of these fine linens as they are part of her trousseau…how lucky is she??!!

weaving 4

As a special treat I was able to watch some linen being woven on an antique loom still in operation.

weaving 5

The linen was not only hand woven, but also, hand picked AND home spun as can be seen below!!

santa and francesca

My biggest challenge was how to acquire a small piece for myself, in a culture where money is not of the utmost importance I eventually traded a small fresco for 2 pieces of linen…a fair trade???

fair trade

The fresco painting on this antique roof tile depicts the ancestral home of  my new friend, Vittoria, her mother and aunt. They are all pleased! Although the home is abandoned it is now immortalized in fresco!…Transaction complete!

cats

As always an added bonus to travelling in these quaint Italian villages are the charming photo ‘opps’ that abound…every nook and cranny is full of delight and may make a fine fresco one day! Any takers out there?

kitty

So I will see where this journey takes me and I am already inspired and awestruck at the connections that have been made as a result.

So far I have found 4 blogs and 1 website of special interest! My nephew and his girlfriend have been blogging about their travels throughout South America and I found it poignant  that they would post about weaving on their blog “Birds of a Feather”. It became even more wonderful when a link was forwarded regarding Calina’s volunteer work with “Threads of Peru” an organization that helps woman improve their quality of life through , what else? …weaving!

I found Mary Tacconi’s writing while “surfing” for references to Italian weaving. Mary is a native to California, but she lived, married and raised 2 children in Umbria. Read her “Reflections on my 40 years in Umbria” for a taste of authentic Italy. I was mesmorized by the writing and the “reflections” as they matched many of my own and they led me to the beautiful works and website of   Giuditta Brozzetti a handweaving laboratory in Perugia, as well as  Michelle Fabio’s “Bleeding Espresso”.  Another gem of a blog…Michelle is an American writer and attorney who left Pennsylvania for her family’s ancestral village of Badolato in Calabria! Inspiring!!

I am sure you will agree, this has already been quite a journey!  Could there be more to weaving then just thread? Stay posted!

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Liana Sofia Tumino

Celebrating 20 years of continued exploration and specialization in fresco painting, an ancient art that requires painting into wet plaster with pure pigment.

Works include small to medium frescoes on panels of wood, tile, stone or cement board, while larger works are detachments from wall to cloth, the result of a restoration process called “The Strappo Technique.” or Fresco detachments.

Most frescoes begin with photographs taken mostly in Southern Italy, aiming to re-live the experience and beauty of each place to evoke a sense of presence to the viewer.

Fine art collectors across the country have found immense value in the historical significance of the medium as well as it’s challenges,complexity and unique beauty.

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