Studio Catalino



Catalino's technique

The hanging art pieces displayed on this site are all executed in Catalino's unique technique using colored Roman (lime, traditional) mortar or colored Roman mortar (lime) and Fresco.

Catalino's technique evolved from the Renaissance mural art technique of Sgraffito. In Renaissance Sgraffito the artwork is created by applying successive layers of colored mortar in up to four colors (black, red, yellow, and white, in this order) and then scraping off ("sgraffitare" in Italian) the layers to reveal the design. After years of arduous research, Catalino now uses Roman mortar as a full artistic medium, and since 2001 he combines it in his artwork with genuine Fresco.

Mortar is a mix of sand, lime, and white cement. To use it for art, natural pigments must be added. Catalino always prepares his mortar from the base ingredients, for each of the artworks. He also creates his own palette, using only a few pigments (red, yellow, blue, green). Fresco is a Renaissance technique of painting with watercolor on wet mortar; once the mortar cures, a glass-like layer forms, which locks the color in; Catalino also integrates Fresco in his works. Not only does work with wet mortar require the entire artistic part to be completed over only a few hours (before the material cures), but Catalino's technique is very complex, a process with numerous facets. Just as an organ player has more complexity to master than a piano player, but also more possibilities of expression, Catalino works with a complex set of variables: texture, colour, layer granularity, relief, the moment during the curing process when to work the surface, and so on - each of them yielding a unique aspect of the final product. Execution of each art-work is different, but you can see an example of the process here.

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