What is the commesso fiorentino technique?
It is a sort of jigsaw puzzle, where precious and semi-precious stones are cut and assembled following a preliminary drawing. It is different from the byzantine mosaic because the pieces are not cut geometrically, but they are shaped according to the design. It is a complex technique that requires a lot of time and accuracy.
What are your favourite stones to work with?
As I love green and yellow shades, in my creations I often use Connemara marble, jadeite and gabbro dell’Impruneta for green, broccatello marble from Siena and chalcedony from Volterra for yellow. But I also like lapis lazuli for marine landscapes.
Is there room for innovation in such a traditional field as yours?
Yes, there is. I do try to innovate by representing new and original subjects, by experimenting with stones that were not used in the past – some have a beautiful iridescent effect that I really enjoy – and by cutting them more smoothly and fluidly.
Can mosaic artworks be contemporary?
Sure. Much depends on how you combine them. Some of my creations are quite traditional: set in golden frames, they go well with classic decor. On the other hand, I make landscapes that, left without a frame, are just perfect for contemporary homes.