WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION
I have a firm policy to write a minimum of one blog posting per month. In the month of June, it's been a bit of a strain due to travel. I generally don't travel with a computer - they're heavy and I rarely find time (or a usable network) to use them, so I remain the unrepentant troglodyte.
Susan and I did have a reasonably unique experience during our recent trip to Italy. We visited the Magnani Paper Mill in Pescia, Italy. Our host, and good friend, was Francesco Natali. The journey began from Florence. with a train trip to Pescia. Francesco met us at the station and drove us to the mill.
The mill tour is something that every printmaker should do at least once in their careers. Everything about Magnani was exactly as I expected it to be...very hands on, and very professional in every aspect. The vat of cotton linters at the left was, just seconds before a pile of what looked like blotters floating on pure spring water. With the flick of a switch, the process of making high quality printmaking paper begins.
We were able to follow the process from linters to inspection in great detail. It isn't often that you have a chance to inspect the watermark form in great detail, or handle the felts that form the paper.
We've been fans of the Magnani sheets for years, but we've developed a new found respect for what goes into these fine papers. As if that wasn't enough, we were Francesco's guests for dinner back in Florence at an absolutely superb restaurant - a place called Pandemonia. If you ever get to Florence, go there and tell them Dean sent you. It won't mean a thing to them, but I'll feel pretty good about it.
I especially want to thank everyone at Magnani for making this visit remarkable.