Carrara Residency, Part 1

A Few Days with Marco Palli (MFA 2016) in Carrara

Today was my first day . . . where should I start? This is pile from which I select the piece of marble to carve my sculpture

I worked so hard today that as soon as I laid down I fell asleep. I wanted to share this photo of my work wardrobe: gloves, hearing protection, goggles, respirator, my favorite cap, and an apron of the best Art Academy in the world!

Today is "Domenica" (Sunday) and "il laboratorio" (workshop) is closed, but I wanted to share a picture of the work space. I am so glad to be here, surrounded by people who have done (and do it well) what I am just starting to do: sculptures!

Since the hostel is just next to the beach, I only need to walk downstairs to see this view! But if I had a choice, I would bike 1.4 miles back to il laboratorio (workshop) to work on my sculpture. Sadly, it is closed right now, so I have no choice . . . I have to enjoy the spiaggia (beach)!

Here at Carrara there is an Italian expression, "Chi ben comincia è alla metà dell'opera" - the one who starts well, has the work half-way done. I can only smile and wonder, when am I going to be halfway done!?

Everyday, we eat lunch together. This big family works hard and celebrates every meal with joy. My rusty Italian has gotten better and I feel so comfortable. I am lucky . . . I really don't know how I got here, but it will be hard to leave.

On the left is Steve Shaheen, my mentor, and on the right is Maestro Massimo. This morning I saw these two men work in a way that I have only seen happen in Ballet. Like in Lar Lubovitch's choreography, these two men just knew the steps so well that the sounds of the tools were like the buzz of working bees. While Mr. Shaheen was assisting Maestro Massimo, he was not only paying careful attention to his action, but was also always one step ahead. Whereas having the next logical tool readily available in his hands to pass it on to the Maestro or to take action himself and complete a task. Seeing them work reminded me of my father. He would say, "If you see me work and you are not able to predict my movements, you have not learned." I am just so happy to be here . . . I feel like I am at the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Thanks so much to all who made this experience happen.

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