Friday, July 14, 2017

Fabulous Fabriano Part IX

Our trip to Fabriano, Italy, continues...
(Here are the links to past posts just in case you are just joining this journey:  Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VII, Part VIII)

Along with the wire watermark procedure that was demonstrated in our tour of the museum (pictured above), we also learned of an intriguing process invented in the mid-1800's.  This, as we were informed, is so specialized that only two people in the world practice the art:  Franco Librari and his daughter Annarita, both of Fabriano, Italy.

This watermarking process is better explained on the museum's website - click here for the link - but basically it begins with the detailed and painstaking process of carving an intricate design into wax.   These carvings can take years to create.   From this wax, metal dies are cast and used to imprint the watermark onto paper.

Throughout the Paper and Watermark Museum, examples of these exquisite wax carvings are on display.  Here are just two that I photographed ~

You may recognize these faces...

In most every room of the second level, back lit sheets of paper revealed their treasures.  Here are a few that I captured ~

Not ancient by the Fabriano Paper Company's standard, but my mine, this c.1700's eagle was imprsessive.

My good friend's Katie's last name is Graham, so I photographed this one -

I found this one interesting, along with the first two, because Fabriano was doing business with companies in the United States from a very early time in our nation's history.

This Santa was gloriously detailed...
along with the beloved saint...

The gift shop walls were framed with back lit spaces displaying sheets of paper with these elegant watermarks.  You can see them in the background of this photo of me holding a guest book ~

It was difficult to leave, but our visit to the Fabriano Paper and Watermark Museum, like all good things, had to come to an end.  It was a blessing to realize my dream of being there, getting the chance to add my signature to the guest book, and to purchase some very scrumptious paper.

Once again, our clerk helped us in pointing out that the site of the original factory as well as the   actual factory, were both within a mile of where we were at the museum.  How could we leave this fair city with out seeing both?

Fortunately, on our way out of town, we located the spot of the original factory...

and where the current one is located...

Fabriano, Italy

Both, just as we were told, were within a mile of the current museum.

In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined that our trip to Fabriano would have turned out so marvelously  well.  Lou and I were fortunate in so many ways - from the timing of our encounters, to the people we met, to the experiences shared.

Looking back, I experienced a lifetime of memories in less than twenty-four hours - truly remarkable. It has taken nine posts to convey a glimpse of these dreams come true.  My hope is that our trip inspires you to believe in your tangled dreams, whatever they may be.

Arrivederci, dear Fabriano!


  1. Sweet Trip, Wonderful Vacation.... thanks for the education in something I had no clue about! Now, I look at paper totally different!

    1. I am happy to know you do - and even doesn't even the feel of it become an experience as well?

  2. A wonderful series! Thank you so much for sharing your story in such detail!

  3. Adele, thank you so much for your wonderful posts of your trip to Italy. I have saved them to read over and over. But, of all, this last post is wonderful. I have always wondered how watermarks were made and that this brand had early contact with our Country, just awesome. My art store(Jerry's Artarama) started selling watercolor paper by Frabriano last year and I now have a great stash!Thanks again.

    1. Where is your store? I will have to visit some day.

  4. A great post - making me think much more about that humble watermark that we just draw over without much thought. I especially like that idea of the ancient world of Italy printing things for the new world United States. Isn't this world and its history a wide and wondrous thing?!

    1. Yes, it certainly is a wide and wondrous thing.