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ALESSANDRA E ANDREA | Chalcography

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THE STORY

We are Alessandra and Andrea and we just opened our chalcographic lab here in Acqui Terme.
What really helped me in this new adventure is the past knowledge I had learned in the prestigious university of Fine Arts in Bergamo where I studied engraving. I really have to say it was love at first sight for this particular technique.
Fascinated by the use of materials such as zinc and copper, satin paints and waxes that I have learned to make by myself. I learned so much about the incredible and varied world of printing papers... Their thicknesses, the color tones, their surface, their smell.
After completing my studies, the transition to a personal laboratory was quick: I started with the purchase of two chalcographic stamps. One big and one small to be able to bring this experience to schools and other places where I gave printing demonstrations.

Years followed in which I worked for myself and on commissions creating engraved plates and making prints. The etching is perhaps my favourite part in which I can express myself through my passion for drawing and by playing with the timings to get the different tones. Experiment with other techniques is interesting as well, since the paths to the discovery of this art are innumerable.
For thirty years I have accompanied this passion with another artistic activity that is the one of illustrator of books, magazines and advertising in which I fed my huge passion for drawing. Working hours were both endless and
nonexistent, so much the magic of continuous workflow, where I lost and found myself.
Then, the relocation from Bergamo to Acqui Terme, and the decision of opening another engraving laboratory there as well. I have to say that I had to stop my activity for too long of a time I would like to admit, until I got this lab set up with the intention of getting back to my plates, drawings and prints.
I have always had some sensibility for the environment and a great respect for nature, therefore making ethical and eco-friendly choices and using the unavoidable toxic chemicals as little as possible. Speaking with other engravers I became aware of the possibility of engraving with less toxic materials than those I had previously used. I'm now starting a challenging study and experimentation period using non-toxic chemicals.
Andrea, on the other hand, comes from Genoa, and after going through architectural studies he has been conquered by the element paper. He has built architectural and archaeological models, mainly in paper. He went on to using paper, remaining faithful to the third dimension, to make pop-up sculptures and kirigami. He also writes and designs creative books.
With him you can learn to make these by looking at how a simple sheet of paper can take so many shapes, using a few tools. Our Laboratory is also conceived as an exhibition space, you can then admire the works
shown, ours or other artists'.

Our laboratory is located in the heart of the historic center, a few steps from
Piazza della Bollente. This is the name of the monumental fountain that springs sulphurous water at 72 °C degrees, already well-known at the time of ancient Rome and which still offers its amazing properties to those who need them. Acqui Terme welcomes visitors with its spas, its wellness centers and its pools. There are many historical testimonials in the area: ancient water mains, Romanesque villas, monasteries, abbeys and uncountable medieval castles. Acqui Terme is also home of the International Biennial Festival of Engraving. We are in the Alto Monferrato, land dedicated to delicious wines and tasty foods, full of wise men worthily accompanying them. The natural and man-made landscape that is presented to the visitors is just astonishing. Keep in mind this beautiful destination and add it to your travel plans to discover its beauties.

ALESSANDRA E ANDREA | Chalcography


THE STORY
We are Alessandra and Andrea and we just opened our chalcographic lab here in Acqui Terme. What really helped me in this new adventure is the past knowledge I had learned in the prestigious university of Fine Arts in Bergamo where I studied engraving. I really have to say it was love at first sight for this particular technique. Fascinated by the use of materials such as zinc and copper, satin paints and waxes that I have learned to make by myself. I learned so much about the incredible and varied world of printing papers... Their thicknesses, the color tones, their surface, their smell. After completing my studies, the transition to a personal laboratory was quick: I started with the purchase of two chalcographic stamps. One big and one small to be able to bring this experience to schools and other places where I gave printing demonstrations. Years followed in which I worked for myself and on commissions creating engraved plates and making prints. The etching is perhaps my favourite part in which I can express myself through my passion for drawing and by playing with the timings to get the different tones. Experiment with other techniques is interesting as well, since the paths to the discovery of this art are innumerable. For thirty years I have accompanied this passion with another artistic activity that is the one of illustrator of books, magazines and advertising in which I fed my huge passion for drawing. Working hours were both endless and nonexistent, so much the magic of continuous workflow, where I lost and found myself. Then, the relocation from Bergamo to Acqui Terme, and the decision of opening another engraving laboratory there as well. I have to say that I had to stop my activity for too long of a time I would like to admit, until I got this lab set up with the intention of getting back to my plates, drawings and prints. I have always had some sensibility for the environment and a great respect for nature, therefore making ethical and eco-friendly choices and using the unavoidable toxic chemicals as little as possible. Speaking with other engravers I became aware of the possibility of engraving with less toxic materials than those I had previously used. I'm now starting a challenging study and experimentation period using non-toxic chemicals. Andrea, on the other hand, comes from Genoa, and after going through architectural studies he has been conquered by the element paper. He has built architectural and archaeological models, mainly in paper. He went on to using paper, remaining faithful to the third dimension, to make pop-up sculptures and kirigami. He also writes and designs creative books. With him you can learn to make these by looking at how a simple sheet of paper can take so many shapes, using a few tools. Our Laboratory is also conceived as an exhibition space, you can then admire the works shown, ours or other artists'. Our laboratory is located in the heart of the historic center, a few steps from Piazza della Bollente. This is the name of the monumental fountain that springs sulphurous water at 72 °C degrees, already well-known at the time of ancient Rome and which still offers its amazing properties to those who need them. Acqui Terme welcomes visitors with its spas, its wellness centers and its pools. There are many historical testimonials in the area: ancient water mains, Romanesque villas, monasteries, abbeys and uncountable medieval castles. Acqui Terme is also home of the International Biennial Festival of Engraving. We are in the Alto Monferrato, land dedicated to delicious wines and tasty foods, full of wise men worthily accompanying them. The natural and man-made landscape that is presented to the visitors is just astonishing. Keep in mind this beautiful destination and add it to your travel plans to discover its beauties.
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EXPERIENCES WITH ALESSANDRA E ANDREA

WORKSHOP

ACQUAFORTE ETCHING 101

Alessandra e Andrea, chalcography

120

In this workshop I'll guide you through the process of making a copper mold that will be used in the printing phase! I will then let you know the technique of chalcographic incision called "acquaforte". All the steps of the process will be carried out following the oldest and most traditional technique. You will make a drawing of your choice that will be placed on a small copper slab. You will then engrave this plate with a metal scriber after having covered it with a layer of hot wax. We will create channels out of the traces you had drew and engraved where we will deposit some ink. This will bring us to the inking stage. Then, finally, we will print our design on engraving paper using the chalcographic press. You get to keep the matrix you made and the print!

ACQUI TERME, Al

WORKSHOP

EVOLUTION OF A PAPER SHEET

Alessandra e Andrea, chalcography

80

Andrea will lead you into a multi-dimensional world made of paper! He will tell you what Kirigami is. Briefly, it's an Eastern technique for working with paper and consists in carving and folding sheets to get two-dimensional shapes. The meaning of the term comes from the Japanese "kiru", cut and "kami", paper. Andrea will teach you the basic ways of folding paper in order to get to at least one of the original Kirigami. To learn more about the Kirigami and Pop-Up techniques we have, on request, twelve hours courses that last two days.

ACQUI TERME, Al

VISIT

PRINTING A MOLD

Alessandra e Andrea, chalcography

40

In this workshop I will tell you what a chalcographic incision is and I will give you an overview of the different incisors techniques. I will show you the different stages of preparing a plate for the process while printing a pre-engraved copper plate using a chalcographic press. You will get to keep a small engraved plate as a memory of the experience.

ACQUI TERME, Al

SELECT YOUR FAVOURITE MATERIAL

PAPER WOOL STONE

ODR

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