Bagni di Lucca has long been known for making figurines. As a cheaper alternative to carved marble or stone, religious statues were made with Plaster of Paris, or gesso. Presepi, or nativity scenes, were particularly popular and salesmen from Bagni di Lucca took them to the world.
The industry still exists in Bagni di Lucca and there is now a plan to introduce a course in the making of figurines. A contribution from Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca has enabled a small group of people including the mayor, Massimo Betti, Alessandro Gabrielli, Sonia Lena and Mariano Mariani to initiate a course of lessons in this traditional art.
The lessons will be open to anyone over 16 and will be managed by Simone Fiori from Arte Basanti, a firm that still makes figurines by hand in the old tradition. (Click here to see the post about it) He will be helped by Mariano Mariano, Luca Marchi and Marco Fontanini from other local businesses.
Applications for the course can be made until 23rd December at the education office in the Comune in La Villa or through the website http://www.comunebagnidilucca.it.
The course, or courses, if there is enough interest, will begin in the new year and will consist of lessons over 5 mornings and 2 afternoons. The cost will be €50 for residents and €80 for non residents. Each course will be limited to 10 people.
For information call (39) 0583 809940.
I think this is an excellent initiative and I hope it is successful. It would be great if it becomes popular and attracts people from outside the area as well as locals.
Residents of Bagni di Lucca took their plaster skills all over the world when they migrated to other countries. It would be wonderful to revive the skill and provide a fun thing for visitors to do.
Please share this post and spread the word.