Florentine Paper

by: Leslie Diaz, Marist Italy FFE, 2013-14

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What exactly is Florentine paper? I saw this activity name on the Lorenzo de’ Medici activity sign-up sheet. Due to my love of learning about Italian culture, I decided to sign up for this interesting activity.

I showed up to the meeting point, right on Via Faenza. As a group, the activity director led us to a shop, located on Via Cavour, called Il Papiro, which translated in English means The Papyrus. I’ve seen this paper shop in passing many times before for this street is close to my apartment. But for it was not for this activity, I would have never discovered the one-of-a-kind works of art beyond the wooden entrance.

aThe original storeowner was our instructor for the evening. He informed us of the history of Il Papiro and the art of Florentine papermaking.

And then soon after, he demonstrated to the group how to make the traditional product right in the store.

We soon discovered there was no real science in making the Florentine paper, and I think that’s what makes the process so fascinating. In a glass tub of water and wallpaper glue, he splatted different colors of acrylic paint. And because of this creative, random process, no two papers have the same design.b

After the first demonstration, the storeowner asked who wanted to try their hand at this art. I quickly raised my hand. He showed me how to make the design called peacock.

The storeowner was so personable and generous that he allowed everyone in the group to create their own Florentine paper masterpiece to take home with them.

 

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