Last night I had the great opportunity to hang out a little later than usual at KCAC and listen to a great lecture from a remarkably talented individual. Fabrizio Acquafresca is a chasing and repoussé artist from Florence, Italy. He is currently in Kansas City teaching a class at Genevieve Flynn Studio, but we were more than happy for him to take a break from class and spend some time in the Project Room talking about his family, work and world travels.
For those of you that might not be familiar with the terms chasing and repoussé I have traveled over to the ever handy Wikipedia to find a nice and succinct definition for you! Repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal. This particular method of decorative artistry has been a long standing tradition in European decorative arts and is still highly regarded in the metals worlds today.
Fabrizio’s family has been working and creating fantastic works of art since the 14th century so you can only imagine the amazing stories that we were regaled with last night. The first was of a distant relation who created the breech loading system for guns which would be the precursor for automatic weapons of the future. Next we heard stories of the creation of a caviar dish made from 25 pounds of silver for the Prince of Brunei. Then we heard of a bathtub made entirely from silver for a Russian client with bronze fish for the spouts. But I think the most amazing story for me of the night were of the Bible covers he has created for the past three Popes of Vatican City. He has crafted Bible covers for Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict and the current Pope Francis. The stories were remarkable and extraordinary. We spent the evening laughing and in awe of the wondrous works and tales that Fabrizio shared with us throughout the night. I hope that he returns soon to share with us what I am sure are to be more grand stories and tales that make us smile and stare in open mouthed awe at what he calls the life in a day of Il Maestro Acquafresca.
For more information on Fabrizio please visit his website or maybe take a class at one of the many workshops he teaches in Italy at Alchimiaor Lorenzo de Medici The Italian International Institute. Then make sure to share your remarkable stories and travels with us!