Venice is the only city in the world where the mask became an object of common, general, everyday use for most of the year. Before, during and after Carnival, life in Venice could be conducted incognito and was extremely free and adventurous. There is an enormous wealth of historic facts, anecdotes, customs and practices associated with the mask, which rarely reaches the unsuspecting tourist.
Get to know the fascinating world of the Venetian mask, and learn some of the hidden meanings of this unusual object. The practical activity of creating your own mask is preceded by a short theoretical explanation, tailored to your group's unique need.
This workshop is an excellent opportunity for learning at least some of the more fascinating aspects of how people lived in Venice in days gone by in a hands-on practical experience sure to stay with you long after you return home.
Each participant is given a plaster mould of the most traditional and significant Venetian mask, the Volto. Your work consists of filling this mould with several layers of a special absorbent paper, which must be previously dampened and spread with glue.
At the end of the work session, the mould is set aside to dry. This process requires some hours, which is why the decoration session cannot take place on the same day.
Once the mould has dried, the edges and eyes of the rough mask must be cut. We do this part of the operation before the next session so that participants are not required to use sharp tools.
During this session you will paint the mask you made, plus another one of your choice, which you'll choose among numerous unpainted models from our collection. The options include antique mask shapes from the Carnival, from Venetian daily life and the theater (Commedia dell'Arte), as well as modern, imaginative models.
The theoretical explanation allows everyone to understand the meaning of each mask, making the choice itself more gratifying. Each participant may also choose from seven different practical work possibilities – two coloring techniques suggested by us that are typical of traditional masks or, for those wishing to freely express their creativity, imaginative decoration with five different finishing techniques.
At the end of the work session, you will be able to take your mask home – your own professionally finished and unique souvenir from Venice.