16 February 2013

Florence in relief

You may remember having seen Recess & relief, a post from last April, in which I explained how I was just getting started on the embossed maps of Florence's piazzas. Because I tend to have a lot of different projects going at once (and also because it always takes me a while to 'sit' with a project as it progresses
), pulling together the first maps has taken much longer than I ever would have imagined; I finally added some to the shop this week. Since I've been noticing that the colors of the images in my online shop all seem considerably duller than the original photos—and the items themselvesI decided to post additional/better versions here as well.

The following four images show some examples of the maps with simple Rives borders (the same paper used for the maps themselves). As simple as they are like this, I think they are my favorites...although, depending on the framing, the lovely marbled paper borders could also sett off the maps nicely. (Please click on any of the images to see them larger.)

Piazza Santo Spirito

Piazza San Lorenzo

Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Piazza della Signoria

Here are some examples showing the different marbled paper borders that are also available in finite quantities. Though it doesn't show up very well in the photos, all but the 'autumn colors' marbled paper have gold highlights running through them.

Piazza Santa Trìnita shown with terracotta & aqua border

Piazza Santa Maria Novella shown with autumn colors border

Piazza San Lorenzo shown with terracotta & plum border

Piazza Santo Spirito shown with earth tones & green border

Piazza della Signoria shown with chocolate & golden yellow border

Piazza Santa Maria Novella shown with indigo & neutrals border

I am finding that not all piazzas are conducive to embossing, but plan to continue working with those that are as I have time. I'm also hoping to translate other facets of Florence's endlessly fascinating urban plan through embossing at some point...I really like it as a way of interpreting the relationship between the city blocks & open spaces/streets.


  1. Beautiful work and such a great idea! Living in a place that inspires you so much is a luxury. Though the marbled papers are luscious and lovely, I prefer the embossings set up against the Rives paper. Somber and very elegant. Brava!

    1. Hello Ersi, Thank you for your comment - and yes, I definitely would have guessed you'd prefer the border of Rives paper! It's funny - for all of these months I wondered what would best set off the maps - it seemed like it should be something special/unusual - and then I realized how much I like the simplicity of using the same paper.
      Not a day goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am to be able to live in a place where I feel so at home - and, as you say, so inspired. I feel as though I could work with all that Florence has to offer for a very long time and still find more to discover.
      - Lisa

  2. Love these embossed maps! I also like the white on white. I find that I can focus on the sculptural qualities of the embossings. Is it possible for you describe a bit about the process? All this sculptural paper is very exciting!

    1. Thanks, Julie! And it's good to hear what your preference is also...sometimes it's hard to get perspective/decide how to best finish something while you're wrapped up in the details; it only becomes clearer once you step away. And of course, putting it out there and having feedback from others often helps.
      Some details on the making of the templates can be found in this earlier post:
      (This post also links to Fiona Dempster's helpful entries about embossing.) Little ended up changing from those earlier attempts, except that I was able to get my hands on some full sheets of Rives (courtesy of my parents), which enabled me to give the pattern created by each piazza/the surrounding streets & blocks some breathing space. I tried some other papers, including pages from old books about Florence, but found that the Rives had just the right 'give'. Then it was just a matter of finalizing the maps, cutting out the city blocks, deckling/sizing the Rives, centering the paper on the template, and then patiently working the paper around the edges of the cut-out blocks.
      Hope that helps!
      - Lisa

  3. Oh my goodness Lisa - these are sublime! I am back after a few days and I love them more than than on my first look. No surprises that the white on white makes me happy - the clean lines, no distractions, quietly being drawn into the imagery...but I also love that frame in the first one with no matting. Stunning. What a delightful project to have to go on with - at your own pace, and I love the notion that some piazzas just aren't conducive to embossing!

    1. Thank you for your comments Fiona - not to mention the original inspiration to finally try out the embossing! It's good to hear your thoughts (and I am also not surprised at your preference for the Rives border - or even no border).
      - Lisa


Thank you for joining in on the dialogue; I appreciate your comments!
{Sorry about enabling word recognition, but I'm hoping it will alleviate the spam.}

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...