At Michelangelo’s Workshop in Brescia
IVAN CONFORTINI – Sculptor and designer
Via XX Settembre, 1
The head and hands of Botticino marble sculpting
Ivan considers himself as the last free hand sculptor in the Brescia region. This art developed in the valley where this precious marble has been extracted from the quarries east of Brescia since the 1500s. While industrial production is still present, there seems to be just one small shop left where when you enter, your jaw will drop open and you cannot avoid turning white from marble powder and feeling a bit like Michelangelo.
After giving us a tour of the quarry, Ivan takes us to the shop to show us the majesty of the raw material and explain the metamorphosis of the rock, which originates from the transformation of limestone in a sea lagoon millions of years ago.
The few pieces of modern equipment present in the shop are accompanied by traditional tools. Marble sculpting is still carried out following traditional techniques passed on from father to son. The workshop is incredibly fascinating and exciting; Ivan is happy to explain how things work and share stories. He is also happy to show how he works: he picks a piece of marble, draws a line with a pencil, grabs a chisel, and shows you the ABC of the sculptor: the “V” incision technique. The chisel is then handed to you for an opportunity to experience the thrill of the rock giving in to your wishes (maybe!). This is a truly unique experience, precious as the sculpted marble which becomes art, beauty, and a wonder of the world.
Adults who are passionate about sculpture, creative art, and craftsmanship.
People who want to learn more about this material and the rudiments of how to work with it.
What to bring
Comfortable shoes for the quarry tour.
What you bring home
Ivan’s teaching, professionalism, and passion. A white marble powder layer all over yourself and many smiles. A piece of marble dating from the Mesozoic Era: a charming and indestructible souvenir!
Ecomuseo del Botticino, Botticino Marble Museum as well as a tour in the city of Brescia, with a visit of the Roman Temple in Brescia.