Settle in, meet your fellow printmakers, and join your tutor for a brief introduction of the printmaking classes, workshops, and activities to follow throughout the week. The first day ends with a welcome dinner.
You will start your journey into the art of printmaking with a course on monoprints and monotypes. You can expect to create numerous prints during this day, as you will cover a wide range of techniques using oil-based and water-based inks and colors. Embossed prints will be introduced at this stage.
You will complete a small edition of prints from metal plates worked entirely without acids. The metal surface will be altered with a drypoint needle, areas of the plate will be darkened with sandpaper and lightened with a scraper and burnisher. The great attraction of drypoint lies in the softness and velvety warmth of the print. You will wrap up the day with a visit to San Clemente Abbey.
You will learn how to transfer an image onto a block, manage the cutting and proofing stages, learn about correct registration to print accurately aligned prints. You will also work on the reduction method of printing which involves cutting away portions of the block after printing each color, thus creating a multicolor print by using one block only. Embossing is once more introduced to print your carved blocks.
You will learn how to prepare a plate, bevel the edge, degrease, apply hard ground, draw, and finally etch and print the plate. You will also develop an image in layers of line and tone and explore a variety of textures by using soft ground with textural material, such as leaves, foil, fabric, feathers, and netting. You will use aquatint to create various different effects as well as tone variations. You will take part in a short workshop on print conservation and mat cutting for perfect print presentation. You will finish the day with a trip to Serramonacesca and Manoppello.
You will explore the qualities of Sugar Lift, which is a way of creating brush strokes etched into the plate and printed as a black or a dark tone. Spit Biting — painting directly onto the surface of a plate to create a mark much like that of a watercolor — will also be covered. You will be encouraged to further explore what you learned by creating works with a combination of techniques incorporating chine collé. Xerox transfers might also be discussed, depending on time.
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Pescara Airport or Pescara railway station.
The printmaking vacations are run by artist Colleen Corradi Brannigan — a widely-exhibited printmaker with over 20 years of experience — from her charming villa in Castiglione a Casauria, Italy. Under Colleen's guidance, you will explore various printmaking techniques and create your own prints from scratch.
You will learn:
For the duration of your printmaking vacation, you will stay either at the villa where the studio is located, or at the next door villa, within walking distance. Five clean, elegantly appointed and furnished rooms are available for accommodation.
For the duration of your stay at Dedalo Art Center, you will be served three delicious meals a day, home-cooked using locally-sourced ingredients.
The tutored printmaking vacation takes place in the picturesque village of Castiglione a Casauria, set at the foot of the Abruzzi mountains in Italy, with stunning views of the Apennines. Surrounded by scenic hills, the studio and accommodation are conveniently located 90 minutes away from Rome and 30 minutes from Pescara Airport.
How to get there:
Castiglione a Casauria is located 90 minutes away from Rome and 30 minutes from Pescara. If you book your flights to arrive at Pescara Airport (PSR, also known as Pescara Abruzzo Airport), airport transfers can be arranged upon request for a supplement of EUR €80 both ways (approximately USD $92) to be paid on arrival. If you choose to arrive at either Rome–Fiumicino International Airport "Leonardo da Vinci" (FCO) or Rome-Ciampino International Airport "G. B. Pastine" (CIA), please take a bus to Torre dei Passeri.
Colleen Corradi Brannigan completed her artistic studies in London, Tokyo, and New York. Internationally acclaimed for her work on expressionism, the Irish-Italian artist has been widely exhibited worldwide in China, Japan, United States, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, and Canada — just to name a few. Selected works signed by Colleen Corradi Brannigan have been featured in encyclopedias, magazines, books, newspapers, and catalogs.
Colleen's work is closely connected to Italo Calvino's novel Invisible Cities. She spent 10 years working on etchings, watercolors, paintings, sculptures, and drawings depicting Calvino's 55 descriptions of cities. Her work was featured in the Encyclopaedia of Italian Literature under Italo Calvino.
What language is used during the printmaking classes and activities?
The entire experience is available in English.
Are beginners welcome?
They are. The printmaking vacation is very beginner-friendly.
Is the printmaking vacation available to all experience levels?
It is. From absolute beginner to experienced artist, all levels are more than welcome. The tutor will teach beginners the basics of printmaking and help more experienced printmakers improve their skills. Working in a small group, the tutor gives each participant individual attention.
How many people are to be expected in a group printmaking workshop?
No more than six people. The tutor works with intimate, small-size groups of 4-6 people.
When is the printmaking vacation available?
Printmaking vacations in Castiglione a Casauria, Italy, are available several times a year. Please check our calendar for availability.
Is any equipment provided?
All materials are provided and included in the package.
Is the printmaking experience available for vegetarians / vegans?
Yes. Please get in touch in advance to discuss your dietary requirements.
Are there any age restrictions?
Absolutely not. However, please keep in mind that you must be 18 years of age to travel independently.
Is the printmaking vacation available for people with limited mobility?
People with limited mobility need to be able to climb at least a flight of stairs. All meals are taken upstairs and there is one flight of stairs that guests need to walk up and down at least three times a day.
I have allergies. Can I still book this experience?
Participants who suffer from severe, life-threatening allergies are strongly encouraged to come prepared with all the necessary medication and be capable of self-administering it. Please get in touch to discuss your specific concerns.
Is WiFi available?
Yes, WiFi is available and free of charge.
Where should I land? Are transfers included?
Castiglione a Casauria is located 90 minutes away from Rome and 30 minutes from Pescara. If you book your flights to arrive at Pescara Airport (PSR, also known as Pescara Abruzzo Airport), airport transfers can be arranged upon request for a supplement of EUR €80 both ways (approximately USD $92) to be paid on arrival. If you choose to arrive at either Rome–Fiumicino International Airport "Leonardo da Vinci" (FCO) or Rome-Ciampino International Airport "G. B. Pastine" (CIA), please take a bus to Torre dei Passeri. Transfers from/to Torre dei Passeri coach station are included in the package. Bus tickets from Rome to Torre dei Passeri cost EUR €10 (approximately USD $11.5). The bus ride from Rome to Torre dei Passeri lasts 2-3.5 hours, depending on the departure station (Roma Tiburtina, Ciampino Aeroporto, or Fiumicino Aeroporto). Please get in touch for further guidance.
Do I need a visa?
Guests traveling from EU and/or Schengen member states may enter Italy for tourist purposes without a visa. Please contact us for further guidance.
What's the weather like in Castiglione a Casauria, Italy?
The warm season lasts from June to September, with an average daily high temperature above 77°F / 25°C. It's usually hot during the day after 12:00 p.m. (but pleasant inside the air-conditioned studio) and nice and cool in the evening after 07:00 p.m.
What should I pack?
Please make sure you pack comfortable clothes and shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
How far in advance should I book this printmaking experience?
As far in advance as possible — spots get occupied fast. Please contact us for further guidance.
"The hilly town of Castiglione was perfect for stunning beauty, inspiration, quiet and focus on my work. The accommodation was more than I could have asked for with each bedroom in a quaint, cozy house individually full of beautiful artwork to look at and full amenities. Colleen is a brilliant teacher who pays close attention to detail and cares about her students' progress. With so much knowledge to share, she is patient, aware and always with a sense of humor. Her studio is clean with top quality equipment and supplies. She challenged me in all the important ways and pushed me to make the most of my time in the studio everyday. She is organized and professional yet she knows how to relax and enjoy the time together. I felt that my time at Dedalo was invaluable for my future as an artist. I learned so much about myself as an artist, an educator and I developed deep appreciation for this new medium of printmaking. Colleen is more than a teacher for me, she is a friend and I am so grateful to have had that experience with her and I look forward to doing a longer residency with her in the future. Anyone with interest to see an unchartered part of medieval Italia and be inspired by Colleen and the surrounding area should not think twice about this trip!"
"I traveled very far to spend some time in a beautiful location, doing something I love: printmaking. This holiday was a wonderful experience for me and my family. Colleen is really a dedicated artist and great teacher, and her lessons on the different printmaking techniques are invaluable for me. I was able to practice etching, linocut, monoprinting and many others, since Colleen has a very well equipped studio and a very nice press. If you are looking for a knowledgeable teacher and an intense course, in a relaxed setting with wonderful homemade food and good accommodation, this is for you. I must add, I traveled with my husband and two sons, and they were able to enjoy the surrounding towns and parks. Also, the friendly atmosphere in the studio that developed with the other fellow artists was also very nice and we got to spend some time visiting Medieval towns, eating out and even doing a bit of shopping."
"Had an unbelievable week here learning more about printmaking techniques. I cannot stress how good this class was for me. Great accommodations and wonderful food prepared not only by Colleen but by her wonderful parents. Great excursion as well. You won’t be disappointed."
"Italian sun, blue skies, green mountains and a fabulous art teacher. Dedalo Center for Contemporary Art is situated in the foothills of Castiglione e Casauria, near Pescara on the south-easterly coast of Italy. Colleen is a Master Printmaker and dedicated artist, who encouraged me to find ways to use my own craft (calligraphy), while learning many new techniques. Each morning was a joy, and included a one-hour mountain walk in my own time, picking fresh cherries along the way, followed by breakfast outside. Class began at 9am, we learnt etching, drypoint, monotypes, watercolour prints, softground printing and more. By the end of the week we had many pieces of delicate art to take home, along with an array of memories that will last a lifetime, such as visiting the nearby San Clemente Abbey from c.871. But the highlight really is the teaching by Colleen herself, she is committed to helping you get the most out of your week, her art studio is spotless, and all equipment is top quality (full-size weighted printing press, Fabriano paper, endless tubs of etching ink, custom made art bench at just the right height, to name a few)."