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Sara Baldwin Designs Blog

The Italian Job, Ravenna

Today I continue my quest to justify the fact that I was claiming to be “working” while in Italy. Forthwith I submit to you the coolest mosaic I encountered while visiting the town of my company‘s namesake, Ravenna:

I’m serious! Situated in between the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and San Vitale (home of some of the most famous mosaics anywhere in the world) was what appeared at first glance to be a large round bale of hay. However, upon closer inspection, the bale of hay was apparently fabricated from…stalks of gold smalti glass.

You can see how excited I was by our discovery. It was gorgeous beyond belief. Honey, take my picture!

Side-note about photography logistics–let me set the stage: at this point in our trip I had been in Italy for almost a week, truly working by tramping through trade shows. Dave, my trusty photographer, and Gracie, 11, had been in Italy for approximately 2 hours. I took the below shot with his camera soon after he took the above shots (which he apparently took with one hand). Trooping to Ravenna with 11 year old child and camera after landing in Bologna that very morning: Priceless.

Now that’s a good man.(Some of you might remember what seems to be my most popular post “The Best Shower Accessory…” –yes, he’s the star. In fact, if you type “best shower accessory” into google, he’s on the first page).

Dave with an exhausted Gracie.

Back to the story. Apparently Midas lives somewhere in Ravenna, and his name is Marco Bravura.
Of course I was immediately trying to figure out how he fabricated it. The strips of smalti seem to be adhered into a bed of some sort of cement or resin, but it is skillfully hidden. Well done, Marco!
Here is the artist’s statement, posted at the site:
Hard to argue with any of that, isn’t it? Amongst other things, he sounds to me like he’s encouraging us in our pursuit of a sense of …wonder. I often think that a sense of wonder is about the most attractive quality a person can have. To me it denotes a non-jadedness and a willingness to look at things and appreciate them as if we’ve never seen them before.

He also seems to be encouraging all of us to use our innate creativity for the betterment of the planet and to not fall back into the rut of the old, wasteful ways. Well Bravo, Marco, I certainly will be looking at hay bales a lot more closely now. And it just occurred to me, I bet when Monet painted them, a lot of people did the same thing. Not a bad act to follow.

2 Responses to “The Italian Job, Ravenna”

  1. Wonderful that you saw Marco's work in Ravenna. I agree, it is astonishing. He recently participated in an exhibit in Russia, "Mosaics & Architecture" If you go to the Solo Mosaico site and click on the exhibit info. there are several photos: http://www.solo-mosaico.com/

  2. mosaicology says:

    Incredible! I always loved watching the hay bales , great discovery Sara.

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About Me

Sara BaldwinSara Baldwin

Exmore, Virginia, United States

New Ravenna Mosaics founder and Creative Director, Owner, Sara Baldwin Design, Bass guitar player, Envisioner, Appreciator of the Sublime and Ridiculous.


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