Working with Felt in Sarzana

Felt isn't just for hats any more

feltIt’s called feltro in Italian. Felt, like in my hat. But Ruth Bucci-Baumer makes it fancier. Like in the picture. And she makes it near Fivizzano, in the Lunigiana.

Ruth had an exhibition of her work in the old lavatoio in Sarzana recently, which is quite unique in the configuration of its marble washing stations. Evidently it’s being opened for exhibition space, especially for women artists.

The exhibition was held concurrently with the medieval festival in Sarzana, called Anno Domini 1495, so we popped in, mainly because I’d never been inside and really wanted to see it. (The festival was fantastic, see the Video: Medieval Sarzana.)

lavatoio sarzana pictureIt was a fine place. Light poured in from above. The surrounding houses had little terraces overlooking the lavatoio. It was a gathering place, not just a manual Maytag, part of the social structure.

I was glad I went to see it. But here’s the thing: at the time, Ruth Bucci-Baumer gave felt working classes. Pity she’s moved away.

In any case, Felt, or feltro, is coming back into style. And the Portuguese version, slightly different, is called Burel. Burel is really just course woolen cloth, which went out of style but is being brought back by an innovative hotelier. See Handicrafts and Healthy Food in the Serra de Estrela to find out more.

sarzana pictureI leave you with some found work as we walked to the lavatoio (our search took us down many alleyways as the neat-as-a-pin urban grid of Sarzana baffled us uncommonly…) I like the colors and the laundry.

I felt the same way when I first walked past the Lavatoio. The person who parked the bicycle in front of the gate certainly had a way with color coordination.

Sheesh, is everyone an artist around here? That’s what I felt as I walked through Sarzana.

Sarzana’s Lavatoio

Lavatoio, communal washing house, Sarzana

Working with Felt in Sarzana originally appeared on , updated: Apr 19, 2022 © .

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