Ali Matteini

a life creative

Short and Sweet, Sister and City

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Last week I returned from my annual immersion in Firenze, a bit of printmaking, lots of delicious swanning about with my wonderful sisterling, recharging our souls in the gold and silver city. Now I’ve returned home, I’ve a clear head full of plans, and a stockpile of all things (mainly washing) that need to be done.




Stamped copper, fine silver and brass medallion



Brass and sterling silver sail earrings

The day before I left for Firenze I joined Monika and Silvia at the market in San Quirico D’Orcia. Took a while to get us set up. Tuscan town polemics had much to do with a whole morning’s shuffling about of everyone at the last minute, and we found ourselves outside the walls of the town. A metaphor if ever there was one.


We Three Blings: Yours Truly, Monika, and Silvia…and Kurt (by Monika)

As I thought would happen, I sold nothing there at the market and instead used the time to post my wares via Facebook and Instagram and was able to sell several items that way and at least get a few lookers come by our stall.


Monika and her recycled aluminium and copper, jewellery



Silvia and her copper, crocheted, stone and wire jewellery

Anyway, it a fun day out with creative gals, we all made sales, and packed up the van just as the heavens opened. I took what jewellery I had left with me to Firenze and sold a few items there. And promptly bought a pair of shoes with the proceeds. Keeping the Italian economy going, me.

Lastly, thrillingly, just yesterday author Joanne Fedler gave her Fiji WINGS writing workshop members the Previously Super Secret wing pendants I’d custom made for her. I was very honoured to have been asked to make them.


FullSizeRender (27)

Each sterling silver wing is hand cut, reticulated, drilled, stamped and then finally domed. They’re a workshop graduation gift for the women who attend her writing retreats.
If you think you might like to attend a workshop, I can vouch that they are dynamic, informative and a whole lot of fun. Here’s the link for her Writers Retreat in Fiji.




Ink! Photo by Emma Kirsopp

It was a short but sweet few days at Il Bisonte with the Printmaking Sisters this time around – I had a mere 4-and-a bit-studio days.


Photo by Robin Ezra

I’d gone with the intention to do collagraphy (great video on that here) or dry point, though it was quickly established that a baren wouldn’t be adequate and I’d need access to a press to conduct the printing of plates back here in the studio.


The presses of Il Bisonte. Photo by Emma Kirsopp.

This year – and next, with what I have planned – the budget doesn’t allow for a press of any sort any time soon. With that in mind I fought the urge to dally about the studio trying new things out and instead I stuck with the waterless lithography, which I know and which can be done with ease in my studio using a baren.

In “Settembre” I’ve used laser printer to create the design, giving quite astounding tonal effects, which I’ve found difficult to achieve using omnichrom, sharpie, etc.


Settembre in blue ink


Settembre hand coloured

Hand painted, cine-collé, editioned for the “yearbook”


In ‘Iris’ I’ve used One Stop floor polisher along with the toner, which gives a stronger outline.






Cine-collé on lovely fibrous mulberry paper. Colour’s a bit naff.

An absolute serendipitous delight was that I’d also rediscovered my photopolymer plates from 2010, which I’d thought too old and poorly kept to be any good, along with a couple of etchings and made a number of extra editions from those plates. Below are the fruits of that happy little find.


My Sisters Garden – Photopolymer Print



Phix – Photopolymer Print



Anne-Maree’s Owl – Etching



La Tigre photopolymer plate



La Tigre – Photopolymer Print



Rendezvous – Etching



Persephone to Hades – Photopolymer Print

So home it is, and back to work for a couple of weeks until my friend Barbara comes to visit for the first time. Throw in the studio inauguration and a couple of orders in the time between. And then…in July, I’ll be back in the city of my heart (and heat – my god, Firenze in July: I must be mad!), this time for a 5 day workshop in chasing and repoussé.




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