To try to understand the origins and the tradition of Venetian Masks, we interviewed a master craftsman with a passion that has been making paper mache masks.
Dear master craftsman, how long ago realized the Venetian masks?
I could not tell you precisely, I believe that as a child living in the Venice carnival was born in me the desire to reproduce these fascinating and mysterious shapes in cardboard that covered the face of people who in my eyes seemed enchanted. Living in Venice and not to cultivate a passion for art is not conceivable, in every corner of this ancient and unique city in the world, echoing the echo of an earlier era. In every place the art overwhelms the visitor with the beauty carefully preserved in the churches, the streets between the buildings where the architecture exhibit forms reminiscent of the influence of Middle Eastern cultures.
The wish that I had as a child gradually began to take shape, looking, looking, I began to realize my first son. Every time I create a form takes shape of my love for Venice and its history.
To achieve a well-made mask how long does it take?
Depends on the subject of the form and type of decoration. Preparing for the paper, roll out to give the desired shape and let it dry before you start the decoration work occupies a few days. The phases of decoration are very delicate cases where the error can affect the success of a mask and defeat all the work done previously.
What do you think of the phenomenon of imitation that more can be found in stores and even online?
I am very concerned not only with regard to the economic side, which certainly has its place, but especially because they would lose the historical memory that underpin the roots of the tradition of Venetian masks. The imitations are masks without a soul, not to mention the quality of the materials, processing and decoration.
Do you think we can stop this phenomenon?
I am afraid it is not possible unless the Italian government does not want to take serious steps to impose certain trade rules to ensure that products not manufactured according to strict rules of production are passed off as originals. Not to mention the place of production, if a mask from China must bear a label stating “Made in China” or so buyers can make a more informed choice of what should be buying, is free to choose whether to buy an original Venetian mask or even just a cheap tourist souvenir.
The most beautiful and original Venetian Masks can be found at the site of the VenetianMasks.eu