"The "Ravenna Method' was developed when ancient mosaics started to have trouble with their original mortar settings and needed to be restored or transferred to other locations. It is a combination of the ancient direct method and the restoration methods developed at that time.
The Ravenna Method applies ancient methods of laying tesserae, is useful in contemporary applications, and is still used by many Italian professional mosaicists today. In the Ravenna method, materials are set into a temporary bed of lime paste or clay where they can be moved and changed until the final effect is achieved. The temporary bed of clay or lime paste remains moist for weeks and months; meaning it can be left it and returned to when you are ready to work again. Once complete the mosaic is transferred to a permanent mortar bed.
Some of the main advantages of the Ravenna method are:
- Changes are easily made by removing tesserae directly from the moist clay
- You are always working on the right side or face of the mosaic and as it will look when finished, unlike other indirect methods
- The mosaic can be worked on while sitting upright, and can be viewed from a distance to see how it is reading to the eye
Instruction in the use of hammer and hardie (the traditional tools for cutting smalti and stone) is covered, practiced and used with marble and Italian smalti glass to reproduce a portion of a classical mosaic.
Students also work on a 2nd smaller contemporary mosaic with a simple monochrome design of their own in white, grey and black, working directly into thin-set mortar. This second mosaic serves as an exercise in value/contrast without the distraction of color.
Some of the class topics covered include:
• basic terminology
• origins of Ravenna method
• ancient cutting techniques with hammer and hardie and proper alignment of body and tools
• developing and printing a design to temporary lime or clay surface
• “andamento” / contrast and classic principles of laying tesserae for both subject and backgrounds
• substrate preparation, properties and selection
• demos of alternate “finishing” options for mosaic including “coccio pesto” treatment
• demo of mounting a hardie in base
• Direct Method options for second mosaic in white/grey/black
Here is a link to a video by Michael Kruzich's teacher Luciana Notturni in her Ravenna school The Mosaic Art School explaining the Ravenna method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVqnd0MCcW0
This is a class for the serious mosaic student who is ready to knuckle down, work hard and discover how the classical principles of mosaic can be of value in developing your own mosaic voice. During class, we'll be busy learning together. Outside of class, expect the joy and camaraderie that comes from being on a great learning journey together. This is not a socializing course. I want you to have fun but you will be VERY busy as will everyone, and this is to be respected. If you need a lot of socializing during class hours, this is NOT the course for you.
This is an intensive course with an immersive schedule. Please note there is very little opportunity to make up missed time.
Instructor: Michael Kruzich
Sessions: 5, Wednesday through Sunday 10:00a - 6:00p
*Ravenna Method students will be responsible to individually purchase a reproduction kit, stone or smalti materials for 2nd mosaic and cutting practice packets from diMosaico prior to the class and bring these with them.
Students will receive an email from Michael 30 days prior to the course (at the latest) with a selection of reproduction kits to choose from and a code with which to order their choice directly from diMosaico and delivered to them to bring to class.
There are approximately 40 reproduction kit subjects to choose from in Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced levels and range in price from approximately $45-$270 depending on the kit and materials involved. Additionally, after the course students will have the ability to order further reproduction kits from diMosaico to continue their practice.
*There will be an additional Materials fee of $30 paid on the first day of class directly to Michael covering the cost of your frames, handouts, clay and other materials provided for this method.