Today we did a day trip to Ravenna. By car it is just over two hours from Venice, so we organized a water taxi, then a driver for the day. The opportunity to view the Italian countryside was appreciated too, although nt he whole not as picturesque as e French countryside we saw enroute to Champagne or Giverny. We drove through farming areas that were quite flat, crossed the Po River and only saw one small section of mountains.
Ravenna really is at the heart of mosaic tradition in Italy, and a historic town to boot. The mosaic tradition in Europe is much stronger than in Australia. Understandably perhaps, but here mosaic is revered as art. There is not the craft versus art argument that must be battled at home.
I have learnt a lot about pricing on this trip. The studio of Anna Feretti has moved since my last visit. She is now located just off San Vitale with a showroom, and upstairs area for sale of materials. It looks too as though she is teaching classes. Seeing her in business still after six or so years is encouraging. The stock she is selling in the shop is aimed at the tourist market, technically not as precise as the work that I do, with a frame approx 15cms square priced at €350.
The other interesting thing was that she was hosting an Elaine Goodwin exhibition in a space not much more than an entry foyer. With catalogue sheet and a dozen or so works on display ranging in price from €700-€1500 it was interesting to see work by this British mosaic artist. Her work would rank in the top five UK based mosaic artists internationally. Again, to see her pricing structure, technical ability up close and see her work in real life rather than in a reproduction in a book was vastly rewarding.