Thursday, June 17, 2010

Italian Spoils

I'm going to cut right to what I'm sure you're all just dying to know. What I brought home from Italy.

I know it doesn't look like much, but let me tell you, it sure felt like a lot of rocks when I was lugging my suitcase around. I also put all this stuff in one of the front pockets of my suitcase, which caused it to not stand up on it's own anymore.
The tan rocks are from Tuscany and the smooth gray ones are from the beach in Cinqueterra. Some of the smaller stuff to the left is from Murano and includes some glass chips.

I did buy some glass on the island of Murano even though it all looked the same and it all looked exactly like what you find in the states. Sorry to sound cynical, but Murano kind of broke my heart a little. The little bag is full of murini, which I'm going to use in my enameling.

I found a rock shop in San Gimignano where I bought the black tourmaline and the three araonites. I seriously love me some aragonite. The four smaller stones were given to me by a jeweler in Castalina in Tuscany. He had a bunch of damaged stones that he couldn't use and when he found out a few of us were jewelry students, he gave each of us a few.

Super score, we found a flea market in Florence! All the same kinds of stuff I look for here in the states, only in Italian and way cooler. Boxes of vintage postcards, lace, little cards of the saints, old photos and letters. It would have taken all afternoon to go through it all. I got postcards, saints, lace, a small scoop, a lace weaving bobbin, and a small jar.

When in Florence, buy scarves. Seriously, I think everyone in the group came home with at least one. Also, when you're me, of course you buy books. The Alchimia book was given to me when we visited the school and I bought the "I Journey With You Here" book because that tiny exhibition was one of my absolute favorite things I saw the whole trip.

I'm not Catholic, but some of my family is and I've always been kind of fascinated with rosaries and the Saints. So, of course more books, a rosary that came with a small booklet that explained the praying of the rosary, and a nicer rosary from the Vatican (blessed by the Pope!). The little Virgin Mary is made of tin and the black book is on the Scientific Instrument collection at the Bargello. It's in Italian, but the images are good.

Some go to Italy for the high fashion, some go for leather, some go for fabulous shoes. I, of course, went for the paper. Some of this is from Florence and some from Rome. I bought a lot of paper stuff.

And, or course, I bought a TON of postcards. I even managed to mail off a few, which made me pretty proud of myself. In many of the churches and museums, you weren't allowed to take photos, so postcards were a great alternative. Although, it's my personal opinion that if an institution isn't going to allow photos, it should have a postcard available of every piece in its collection. Really, I don't think this is too much to ask. Also, museums shoudn't have postcards of pieces they don't actually have in their collection.

I also bought a dress from the Street Market in Florence, some excellent food and snacks, bad lemoncello, slightly better lemoncello, and a few little things to stick in my sketchbook. My best deal was 20 postcards for one euro in Rome. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my purchases and finds. Although I wish I would have had room for more rocks.

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