Outside the Studio: Finding inspiration in Italy (part 4 of 4 - Back to Milan)

Inspiration for our work at Carrot Top Studio can be found in so many different places! We find it in the everyday, in readings, in fabric, and in getting out of the normal routine. A recent trip to Italy allowed us days full of “inspiring moments.” Here are the highlights from one additional day in Milan at the end of the trip ….

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is situated in the heart of Milan and houses  The Last Supper  in its refectory. We had not had time to go into this sanctuary at the beginning of the trip when we saw Leonardo’s painting so we retraced our steps. Bramante is attributed to most of the architecture and it is a shining example of the Renaissance. It interestingly was so different from the many other churches that we experienced this trip. I appreciated the affect the light colors gave the space.  Inspiration take away — Color can enhance mood and feeling.

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is situated in the heart of Milan and houses The Last Supper in its refectory. We had not had time to go into this sanctuary at the beginning of the trip when we saw Leonardo’s painting so we retraced our steps. Bramante is attributed to most of the architecture and it is a shining example of the Renaissance. It interestingly was so different from the many other churches that we experienced this trip. I appreciated the affect the light colors gave the space.

Inspiration take away — Color can enhance mood and feeling.

The National museum of Science and Technology had this cool “maker’s studio” for adults. It was decorated with sewing machines that reflected the history of their development. But even cooler was the fact that you could use this space to do some creating of your own. There was a similar space for younger creative types and families to use.   Inspiration take away  — What if churches or education areas within churches had spaces for creating? What would they hold? How would they be used? When would they be used?

The National museum of Science and Technology had this cool “maker’s studio” for adults. It was decorated with sewing machines that reflected the history of their development. But even cooler was the fact that you could use this space to do some creating of your own. There was a similar space for younger creative types and families to use.

Inspiration take away — What if churches or education areas within churches had spaces for creating? What would they hold? How would they be used? When would they be used?

Whoa! Then there was the original jacquard loom! This powerful machine changed the way textiles were made. It allowed for complex patterns such as brocade, damask and matelasse to be created. Maybe you have vestments made of these materials? It was the first automation of weaving that made possible unlimited patterns. The loom used punch cards and might be considered a precursor to the computer we can’t live without today! One last interesting tidbit — the pinnacle of production of this loom was a prayer book, woven in silk around 1886. It was 58 pages long and required over 200,000 punch cards!

Whoa! Then there was the original jacquard loom! This powerful machine changed the way textiles were made. It allowed for complex patterns such as brocade, damask and matelasse to be created. Maybe you have vestments made of these materials? It was the first automation of weaving that made possible unlimited patterns. The loom used punch cards and might be considered a precursor to the computer we can’t live without today! One last interesting tidbit — the pinnacle of production of this loom was a prayer book, woven in silk around 1886. It was 58 pages long and required over 200,000 punch cards!

Last but not least we stopped into the Brera Picture Gallery. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings. Seeing this  Lamentation of Christ  by Andrea Mantegna was a highlight. It is unusual because it portrays Christ’s body on a marble slab instead of on a crucifix or having risen from death. The foreshortening in the painting is also unusual and very well executed as the artist was a master at perspective.  Traveler tip: Art museums often have amazing literature, maps and ways to view a museum for families. These can be great paths to follow if you are short on time. And it doesn’t prevent you from reading the “adult” educational pieces after you are led to each highlight within the museum collection. The Brera is a fine example of being very inclusive in children’s art education in this way.

Last but not least we stopped into the Brera Picture Gallery. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings. Seeing this Lamentation of Christ by Andrea Mantegna was a highlight. It is unusual because it portrays Christ’s body on a marble slab instead of on a crucifix or having risen from death. The foreshortening in the painting is also unusual and very well executed as the artist was a master at perspective.

Traveler tip: Art museums often have amazing literature, maps and ways to view a museum for families. These can be great paths to follow if you are short on time. And it doesn’t prevent you from reading the “adult” educational pieces after you are led to each highlight within the museum collection. The Brera is a fine example of being very inclusive in children’s art education in this way.

I regret that I did not document this painting. But I can tell you that I took this detail photo because the images were painted barefoot as a sign of humility. That is such a unique yet powerful symbol.

I regret that I did not document this painting. But I can tell you that I took this detail photo because the images were painted barefoot as a sign of humility. That is such a unique yet powerful symbol.

And then there was the  Supper at Emmaus  by Caravaggio. Don’t you love how calmly the innkeeper and his wife appear as they do not understand what is happening?

And then there was the Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio. Don’t you love how calmly the innkeeper and his wife appear as they do not understand what is happening?

Cheers to our clients who allow us time and space and a delay in shipping when we step out of the studio!

Cheers to our clients who allow us time and space and a delay in shipping when we step out of the studio!

Stay tuned to our Italy trip inspired stoles! Sign up for our eNews to be the first to know about their completion.