I just got back from an amazing trip to Sicily, and one of the highlights was a lesson with a master cart painter, who showed me and my mother how to paint beautiful plates! Neither of us had much of any experience with oil painting or really much painting at all, but he patiently walked us through each step and we each produced a really beautiful plate! Here’s mine:
Our teacher was Damiano Rotella of Cinabro Carrettiere in Ragusa. He learned from a previous master cart painter, and now he and his carpenter partner have an apprentice of their own. Cinabro has even done collaborations with Dolce & Gabbana; it really felt like an honor to get a personal lesson from such an expert!
We started out with plates like this:
The our teacher demonstrated each step and told us what to do.
Here I am making my concentrate-y face
The results! Clockwise starting from top: Damiano’s, Mom’s, sample plate, mine:
And finally, my plate and Mom’s:
I’m so relieved that my plate made it back safely on the plane! I actually held it in my lap for a lot of the trip. It has a wire on the back to hang it up, so I hope to display it in my kitchen, once I figure out exactly where.
I really really enjoyed this experience and hope to paint some more in the future!