The art of clouds by Alberto Valese
Some people keep their head in the clouds so they can create wonders – and Alberto Valese is one of them. A few decades ago, after reading a few books and most importantly meeting his master, he realized clouds would become his creative space.
“Ebru”, in the extinct Turkic language Chagatai, means “cloud”. It is the name of the paper marbling technique by which color is used to resemble marble, imitating its wonderful color streaks. It is an ancient method that started in China and Japan, then traveled along the Silk Road to Persia, and then to Turkey, where it reached unparalleled levels of excellence thanks to the mastery of Ottoman craftsmen.
As we said, a few books had a huge impact on Valese: two in particular. One was the French “Papiers de fantasie”, published in 1852. The other one was the more recent “Turk sanatinda ebru” (“Ebru in Turkish Art”).
In the 1970s, Valese learned the secrets of this technique from a Turkish master, Mustafa Düzgünman.
The rest of his story has since unfolded in Venice, his hometown, and then back into the world. His fine decorative papers for hand-tooled books, fabrics for opera costumes, set models, wooden jewelry, pictures, decor objects and silks have emerged from the workshops he opened, from vats full of magical mixtures of natural rubber, oil paint, turpentine, bovine or pork liver bile… and are now showcased and appreciated all around the world.
Welcome to his workshop.