FLORENTINE ART STUDIO AND SCHOOL
WELCOME TO OUR STUDIO
FlorenceArt.Net is a working decorative arts and teaching studio, specializing in antique artisan techniques. We design and produce artwork and decorations for custom pieces and interiors. We love sharing our knowledge of authentic methods through our classes held virtually and from our Anghiari studio. Read more about the space and our owner Alison Woolley below.
A Lively, Vibrant Space
THE FLORENCE ART STUDIO
The Florenceart.net studio is located in a charming ex-monastery, near the ancient town of Anghiari in southern Tuscany. Our independent artist's studio has been active for over 15 years and throughout this time we have produced many commissions and held courses with students visiting this historic region from all over the world.
The studio was formerly on Via della Scala, in the historical Palace of the Riblet Bargagli Petrucci in the center of Florence, but moved in 2022 to the new location in the countryside. For those who cannot travel to Italy, we have new online videos for beginners or professional artists to learn art virtually.
Classical and Contemporary
We specialize in antique artisan techniques and skills such as gilding, trompe l'oeil, grisaille, fresco, sgraffito, and grottesca decoration. We create artworks and decoration for interiors, harpsichords, and furniture. We produce fine furniture finishes and decorative art for the interior design industry worldwide. In the past we have created designs for fabric, stencils and original interior decoration. Please see our Commissions page for examples of our past work.
We love sharing our knowledge of these authentic techniques. Throughout the year, we hold art workshops and retreat courses from our studio and in stunning locations in Tuscany, teaching gilding, decorative painting, mural decoration and lime fresco techniques.
ABOUT OUR ARTISTS AND TEACHERS
Throughout our years we have hosted many courses and art workshops taught by professionals and master craftspeople who are passionate about their art and sharing their knowledge effectively. As a result, our classes can accommodate beginners and professional artists. The studio has a long history of being commissioned for pieces from various esteemed institutions and individuals who want to leave a legacy that shows an appreciation of beauty and refinement, and a respect for history and tradition. We have created custom decoration and designs for the Opéra Royal de Versailles, Salvatore Ferragamo, luxury boutique hotels and villas. Most of our courses today are taught by Alison Woolley and her daughter Sonia. You can read more about them below.
Alison Woolley is the owner of the FlorenceArt.Net studio. She is a Scottish born, ex-pat Canadian with more than 25 years experience as a decorative artist in Florence. She is a master artisan recognised by the region of Tuscany. Alison 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 stencil design. Today, you can see the artist’s refined and meticulous hand on works such as two hand-painted harpsichords for the Opera of Versailles and designs for Salvatore Ferragamo. Alison also teaches artisan techniques and makes original works of art and decoration. Decorated harpsichords are her speciality. You can browse through her courses, gallery shop offering hand painted scarves and works of art, or her archive of commissions.
“Hello, I’m Alison. I discovered a passion for art very young and was fortunate to be able to train through art college in Toronto, then through apprenticeship in the disappearing ‘botteghe’ (small artisan workshops ) in Florence, Italy. At my studio in Florence, I now specialise in hand painted decoration using traditional media and water gilding. I love using antique paint mediums, artists pigments, casein paints, egg tempera paints, and real gold. With these materials, I am able to achieve engaging beauty in the form of bright rich colors and textures, and the fascination of gilded burnished surfaces. I have been teaching for over 20 years and am happy to share my knowledge. I think you will find that my approach is gentle and encouraging. ”
Sonia Bukhgalter is a young emerging painter and artisan who grew up learning art in her mother Alison's studio in the historical center of Florence. She recently graduated summa cum laudae from a fine arts academy in Florence and has since gained gallery representation. Sonia has always had a strong interest in the arts, with a special focus on the techniques and materials used throughout history to create great masterpieces. She apprenticed in traditional italian workshops and took a year-long course on design for artisans. This led her to have a strong understanding of the tools used by artists throughout history and, with her education in contemporary fine art, developed her own form of expression that unites old and new. Sonia has chosen to specialize in gilding and oil painting. Alongside her own studio practice, she assists her mother Alison with decoration and gilding commissions, and teaching artisan techniques.
"Hello, I'm Sonia. I was born and raised in Florence and have had a great passion for art for as long as I can remember. I was always encouraged to follow it so this led me to attend art schools and eventually pursue it as a career. I apprenticed under my mother and other master artisans for years, all while studying contemporary fine art and developing my own unique style of oil painting on gold and silver leaf surfaces. With my knowledge of art history, theory, and practical skills I am happy to teach this wonderful form of expression to anyone with a passion to learn. In my personal work I represent the connections between spirituality, the vastness of nature, and my own emotions. I use landscapes on gilded surfaces to connect with the emotions that I am experiencing, or remind myself of my role as a tiny part of something bigger."
We have always loved to capture the artists' creations that are produced in our Florence Studio through images and videos. Please enjoy our selection of recent and past commissions and courses below.