The store was filled with porcelain pieces painted in the traditional Italian style, with plates on every wall—clocks, vases, urns, and all types of things. The most exciting thing about the store was that it doubled as the artist’s studio. She had a desk off in the left back corner where she sat painting her next creation. She had tons of small black clay bowls filled with different color pigments. On the side of the desk was what looked like a tea tray that had small unpainted and unpolished pieces. In the middle of the desk, there was a raised platform with a light perched on top of it to help the artist to see what she was painting.
She sat with her black apron and slowly dipped her dainty paintbrush in the colors and applied them in small, intricate patterns on the small plate she was painting. Before each application of paint, she would re-wet her brush in a mason jar filled with a murky brown colored water.
It was a great experience to be able to actually watch a small portion of how the beautiful pieces were made. I’ve been places in Italy before and have seen similar pieces, but I had never seen anybody make them before. Actually being able to experience that made the pieces and the experience much more authentic for me.