ink on roller in Busato Stamperia, Vicenza, Italy.

BUSATO’S  printing house has been working tirelessly, for three generations, since 1946. and is considered an important historical Veneto region laboratory. Nowadays Busanto Stamperia  remains a meeting place for artists all over Italy, with open doors for everybody, including Americans. Artists come to Busato to challenge themselves and to learn new techniques, whether engraving, xylography or lithography.

One discipline I am pretty good at is printmaking and I am very interested learning from Italian printers. They do it differently than we do it here in the States; there is a long tradition of division between print artisans and fine artists in Italy.

For example, in 2015, I studied lithography with a remarkable woman, Leda Calza, who is printer and gallery owner in Pistoia, Italy. At the time, I was in residency in Puglia. Leda ran the print shop. Here’s the difference: in the US the artist works directly with the print from start-to-finish. Italians, and most European printers, consult with artists on the sketch as well as what paper and ink might work best for the image. After the artist etches the plate, Leda or her assistant, might examine the metal plate, pointing out spots where marks were too lightly cut. She inked the plate and ran it through the press, hung it to dry. The beautiful paper she used was 100% cotton paper, perfectly dampened.

Back to Vicenza: In Vicenza, I visited Busato with my long-time Italian friend Francesca Leder. We are interested in helping to bring Giancarlo Busato to Boston to give a presentation — and perhaps inspire a handful of Boston artists to visit and perhaps study with him in his historical laboratory in Italy.

Giancarlo Busato

Giancarlo said, “Great names just like Neri Pozza, Renato Gottuso, Mino Maccari, Tono Zancanaro and Augusto Murer Ernesto Treccani were once doing their printing here.”  He is convinced that if Italian artisans want to survive, they must move, constantly, reinvent themselves. In the past years he has traveled with his work,knowledge and stories to Warsaw; Paris; Sao Paolo.

IF you are interested visiting Giancarlo Busato Stamperia, or a doing workshop with him in the Vicenza laboratory, contact by email.

Stamperia d’Arte Busato

Contrà  Porta Santa Lucia, 38 – Vicenza