After breakfast, we headed back to our room and got loaded up for the trip to Dusodoro and our masking making class. It took a bit to figure out the waterbuses, but we managed to find the right one and arrived with about thirty minutes to spare. We walked around and looked at an exhibit of Leonardo de Vinci’s machines (no photograph allowed) and then wandered over to Ca Macana.
We met our instructor, Sarah, and she took us to the workshop. First we had a half hour video introduction to masks, their history and how they are made. The shop was established in 1984, making it the oldest mask making shop in Venice. Mask making started around the 12th century in Italy as a way for young men to get into all sorts of trouble without risking their families’ good names. There were strict rules that governed mask wearing, like you couldn’t carry a weapon, and it was quite the thing to do until Napoleon brought the hammer down when the Venice empire fell to him. For many years, it was forbidden to wear masks, but happily that is no longer the case.
The hardest part, at least for me was picking my two masks. I wanted something different from what we already had. TBG wanted to do a Plague Doctor, but it wasn’t one of the options. He had to buy one instead, along with the head piece and lace cape (al budo). He ended up with “the old man” and a sun. I choose a fox and a moon/sun piece.
Sarah explained the various techniques and we both did a blend on the first and a ‘wipe’ on the second. The first is exactly as it sounds, start with the lightest color all over the mask, then move to the darker color and blend them. The second, you paint the surface of the mask and dry it, then apply black and wipe it off. The results are stunning. After that, we applied a glaze and we were done. Sarah even took time to decorate Fred’s little hat.
She recommended a place for lunch and we found it with no trouble. I had a lovely pizza with tomatoes, ham and basil. TBG had ravioli with ricotta on a bed of pureed leeks. Then we headed back to the hotel for a bit of a rest.
While TBG slept, I found Al Gallo D’Oro on the web and directions. It was just a short walk from the hotel and we were greeted like long-lost relatives. Our waiter gave us our same table and we had fun decided on yet another yummy meal. We started with deep fried calamari rings, then a salad Caprese, and I had spaghetti a carbonara (so, so good) and TBG had steak smothered in a green peppercorn sauce with vegetable on the side. For dessert, we split a panne cotta. I had prosecco and TBG a spritz. We were surprised by two glasses of limoncello as a thanks for coming back.
Needless to say, we slept very well that night. :D