The medium of BUON FRESCO, through its aesthetic appeal and its long and venerable tradition in liturgical settings, stands as a symbol for the beauty and permanence of the Church and the continuity of the liturgical practice over the centuries. When executed properly, fresco has a beauty, depth and luminosity of its own independent of its stylistic and thematic motif. Wether majestic or humble, figurative or abstract, the fresco confers integrity and a quiet strength to the space it inhabits. Additionally, fresco is a fitting medium for an environmentally conscious generation: no solvents, glues, or man-made materials are used, it is fully breathable and will never get mold or bacteria.
In buon fresco the image is painted directly on the wall on the wet skin of the plaster. As the plaster cures, the lime crystalizes around the pigment particles bonding the paint permanently to the plaster surface. The design of the composition I only one step in a long process. It is followed by multiple color studies on paper, small fresco samples, real size cartoons and tracings. In the meantime, the wall is prepared with a with a substrate of rough plaster. Next, the artistic team transfers the composition onto the dry plaster and paints it in 'sinopia' or red paint. This ébauche will later serve as a map for dividing the wall into 'giornatas' or 'frescoing' days.
We use the highest quality lime, locally mined sand whenever possible, and natural pigments, a variety of earths from different parts of the world, minerals such as malachite, and semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli.
The relationship between the artist and the plasterer is very important. The plastering artisan creates the optimal wall environment on which the artist's work can come to life. Together, the team will plaster and paint and area of roughly 9 square feet a day. Once started the section of the image has to be completed in the same day and while the plaster is viable. At the end of the work day, or 'giornata', the edge of the plaster is cut before it sets to create a clean edge and the adjacent area is prepared to receive new plaster on the following day.
As much as the project allows, we like to involve the community through educational programs at the work site in the form of lectures, workshops, and internships.