Florenceart.net - Art Immersion in Florence












Tuscan Decorator Intensive Project 2016
(accommodations included)

Participate in this special summer retreat to a beautiful Florentine villa for full immersion training

About the Special Summer Program: This is a unique occasion to learn a wide range of historical decorative techniques which form the basis of the decorator's craft and are useful not only in interior decoration, but also in artistic applications. Enjoy the beautiful, inspiring environment, and the relaxed immersive study.  Participate in a concentrated series of well organized classes and enjoy lots of individual attention from highly skilled teachers, acknowledged experts in these techniques. Customize your program by choosing the modules you want, and because the class size is limited, we can offer you the possibility to customize further within your program, working on projects of your choice. Take this opportunity for great value in these economic times. The Villa Palmerino is a special place, a cultural association entirely dedicated the support of art and artists. Because of this foundation's special mandate we are able to offer below market value prices for courses and accommodations of this level. The villa  hosts artists, writers and researchers from all over the world and quite often new friendships and creative exchanges are born there. Enjoy exchanges with artists and scholars over a meal, or a casual meeting at one of the seminars or art exhibitions that the villa organizes on a regular basis. To top up on inspiration, a quick local bus ride (truly easy) will take you to the museums and monuments of historical downtown Florence. We are thrilled to have discovered this unique location which is ideal to give you the best of the Tuscan countryside and the best of Florence's museums and cultural attractions at the same time.

Full Month Program: July 1-23
          Weekend Module: July 1-3
          Weekly Modules: July 3-9, July 10-16, July 17-23.

Cost:  Whole program: €3100 euros
          1 week module: €1250 euros (check-in Sunday, check-out Saturday)
          Weekend Module:€488 euro
fees include: accommodation, scheduled courses, studio sessions, 1 weekly group dinner
fees do not include: airfares, transportation, art materials-(a list of necessary materials will be provided- some materials will be available for purchase)

Program :

  Class times         Fri. July1 Sat. July 2
  9:30-12:30           Chiaroscuro Striping and Ornament
afternoon: check-in times from 14:00 14:00-17.00         check-in Studio projects/
  20:00           Tuscan dinne
Sun. July 3 Class times Mon. July 4 Tues. July 5 Wed. July 6 Thurs. July 7 Fri. July 8 Sat. July 9
Chiaroscuro Striping and Ornament 9:30-12:30 Intro-Advanced Gilding Intro-Advanced Gilding Intro-Advanced Gilding Intro-Advance Gilding Intro-Advanced Gilding check-out times from 10.30-11.30
Chiaroscuro Striping and Ornament

afternoon: check-in times from 14:00

14:00-17.00 Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects/ free time
  20:00    Tuscan dinner        
Sun. July 10   Mon. July 11 Tues. July 12 Wed. July 13 Thurs. July 14 Fri. July 15 Sat. July 16
morning free 9:30-12:30 Furniture decoration Furniture decoration Furniture decoration Furniture decoration Furniture decoration check-out times from 10.30-11.30
afternoon: check-in times from 14:00 14:00-17.00 Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects/ free time
      Tuscan dinner        
Sun. July 17   Mon. July 18 Tues. July 19 Wed. July 20 Thurs. July 21 Fri. July 22 Sat. July  23
morning free 9:30-12:30 Fresco, Sgraffito and Italian Plasters Fresco, Sgraffito and Italian Plasters Fresco, Sgraffito and Italian Plasters Painted Ornament, Stencil and Colour Painted Ornament, Stencil and Colour check-out times from 10.30-11.30
afternoon: check-in times from 14:00 14:00-17.00 Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects Studio projects/ free time
            final dinner  

About the courses: Morning class sessions will be taught by expert teachers. Afternoon sessions will be spent working on studio projects under the supervision of the instructor. Villa Palmerino is a treasure trove of beautiful objects, collected over the years by the artists, restorers and artisans that have owned or been associated with the villa. Our afternoon projects will be the extension of the morning class sessions where you can choose to gain hands on experience in the techniques studied while working on these objects. This application to real world objects is particularly useful for the gilding and furniture decoration segments of the course. The chiaroscuro painting and fresco workshop studio sessions will be executed on canvas and panels which is consistent with professional applications in contemporary interior design. Below you can read more information about the courses and instructors, follow links to detailed descriptions on our studio website, and view 'before' pictures of proposed practical projects at the villa where available. The proposed projects may be subject to variation.

- Gilding: Students learn both traditional Italian water gilding techniques as well as modern ‘mordant’ gilding techniques for professional applications. Students learn to understand, differentiate and execute the appropriate type of gilding in different situations. Water gilding techniques are useful for making beautiful decorative panels, gilding on furniture and frames, or for the restoration of antique frames. Mordant gilding techniques are more applicable to interior decoration schemes, ceilings and walls. Read More

Villa Palmerino Studio Projects: On site at the villa we have a choice of antique gilded pieces to be restored, and wooden frames to be gilded.

- Furniture Decoration: Students learn the techniques and materials used for the proper preparation of wooden objects, panels and furniture. The program covers the practical use and formulation of gessoes, casein, lime and chalk paints, as well as antiquing techniques and wax finishes for creating Italian and French style historical furniture finishes. Read more

Villa Palmerino Studio Projects: On site at the villa we have a choice of armoires, cabinets and wooden frames to be decorated.

-Painted ornament, Stencil and Colour : In this course we cover several fundamental rules in the use of color, based on automatic optic responses, and explore how to combine and mix colours. We combine the use of stencils and hand painted ornament for making decorative borders and all-over patterns. Composition and harmony of design in ornamental decoration are explored. This course is very useful for those who would like to decorate both rooms and furniture pieces. Read More

- Fresco, Sgraffito and Italian Plasters:
Students learn true fresco techniques with real lime plaster: how to make fresco plaster with lime and sand, and how to execute decorative work with compatible pigments. These techniques are useful to make high quality decorative panels or for the creation or restoration of decorative frescoes on site, indoors or outdoors. Following on from the study of this traditional medium we will explore the use of commercially available decorative lime plasters and their use in creating naturally ecologically friendly wall finishes, beautiful antique patinas and lime washes. Read more

-Chiaroscuro Striping and Ornament Techniques : Students learn an historical method for effectively creating trompe l’oeil frames and ornament. This subject matter has a wide practical application; learning the basics of mixing shades and working with light and shadow can be used generally throughout any type of decorative painting.  Read more.

View photos of the summer program on Facebook

Picture Gallery of some pieces from at the Villa Palmerino that we can work on for our studio projects, or take inspiration from:

About the Teachers:

Alison Woolley owner-founder of Florenceart.net Studio-school
Alison is a professional artist and decorator, owner of Florenceart.net, a decorative arts and teaching studio in Florence, Italy. She started her career as an apprentice in a traditional Florentine ‘bottega’ decorating furniture in the Renaissance style. Over the years this specialized work blossomed into an expertise in creating luxuriously decorated surfaces of many kinds, from interior murals to fabric and package design. Today, you can see the artist's refined and meticulous hand on works such as a hand-painted harpsichord for the Opera of Versailles and scarf designs for Salvatore Ferragamo.

Roberto Passeri
Roberto is a gilder and restorer, author of numerous publications on restoration of gilded objects, who taught for many years and was a member of the admissions review commission at the famous school of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, in Florence, the state authority on art restoration. His specialty is the restoration of wooden objects and gilded surfaces. He has overseen many important restoration projects in Florence, and abroad. Among his projects of note is his role as technical supervisor of the restoration of the altar in the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, where the famous painting "Beheading of St John the Baptist" by Caravaggio is displayed, at Valletta, in Malta.

Marco Cavallini
Our well known expert in illusionistic wall decoration, conservation and antique painting techniques. Marco was a teacher at the State Institute of Art at Porta Romana in Florence, and at the University of Florence in the department of the History of Architecture. He is the author of several books and manuals. His most recent publication is a manual on 'Quadraturismo'- architectural illusionistic painting.

Instruction is available in English and Italian

Each participant will share with one other person their own charmingly decorated Tuscan room with private bathroom. Kitchen and laundry facilities are shared. Free Wifi is available throughout the property.
Here are some photos of the accommodations:

Spaces are limited to 8 students at one time, places will be assigned on a first come first served basis with priority given to students who have studied with the Florenceart.net studio in the past.

Deadline for application: March 18, 2015

Restoration of Paintings class upon request: If you would like to study restoration of paintings in substitution to one of the other courses please contact the studio for more information and fees.

This intensive experience will allow participants to gain confidence and expertise in their chosen field. Students of the Tuscan Decorator Intensive program will produce samples of each of the techniques executed and carefully document the studio projects for their own portfolios. The program will seek to combine and harmonize many techniques that are the mainstays of traditional decoration, to arrive at a result that is fresh and original. For those who still can't get enough, independent studio time is available evenings outside of working hours.

How to apply:
Please send your request by email to the studio.
A deposit 30 percent will be required at the time of registration
Deadline for submissions: March 19, 2014
contact the studio by e-mail

Please note:  Students must ensure that they have all necessary visa and health insurance for their stay.

Our studio in Florence:
Via della Scala 11 (near Piazza Santa Maria Novella)
50123 Firenze


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