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Frame Your Moments in Gold


All that glitters is truly gold as you learn an old artistic skill. Create a gold art frame during this artisan experience in the private family workshop of one of Florence’s most famous living master craftsmen. You will develop your own Midas touch surrounded by gold leaf framed art in this rarely before seen professional studio and discover the creativity of a true master and the historic restoration work with which he is entrusted. Your artisan experience will take place in a true working space filled with beauty, learning and dedication, in the company of a man who truly loves what he does.

Experience, passion and expertise

You have the privilege of working one on one with Gabriele Maselli, President of the Framers Guild and Vice President of the Artistic Craftsmanship Section of the Florence Association of Craftsmen.  You will hear his fascinating tales of famous pieces he has been tasked with restoring, in well known museums and churches, including the Vatican, and you will feel his deep passion for his work and his role as a teacher...

You have the privilege of working one on one with Gabriele Maselli, President of the Framers Guild and Vice President of the Artistic Craftsmanship Section of the Florence Association of Craftsmen.  You will hear his fascinating tales of famous pieces he has been tasked with restoring, in well known museums and churches, including the Vatican, and you will feel his deep passion for his work and his role as a teacher.

Gabriele took over his family business in 1979 from his father Paolo, who first opened the shop in 1955.  Walk with Gabriele through his family’s bottega and you will see the fruits of his labor all around you. Witness the fine skills this master artisan has used to produce stunning gold art frames.  Touch the glimmering surfaces of the handmade pieces and admire the meticulous details born of the artist’s long experience, passion and expertise. You hear the genuine warmth in his stories about his students at the local art school he founded and you experience the pleasure he derives from teaching as you learn the craft of gold leaf directly from him.

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Shining treasure of genuine gold

Bottega d’Arte Maselli began in 1955, trading in antique prints and artisan frames.  As you enter this tiny Aladdin’s cave, you see Gabriele Maselli’s contribution to the expansion of the business over the past 40 years.  You are immediately struck by the exquisite, high-quality, unique and handmade pieces, all of which are certified with a guarantee of authenticity, made entirely in Italy, according to traditional technical specifications of excellence...

Bottega d’Arte Maselli began in 1955, trading in antique prints and artisan frames.  As you enter this tiny Aladdin’s cave, you see Gabriele Maselli’s contribution to the expansion of the business over the past 40 years.  You are immediately struck by the exquisite, high-quality, unique and handmade pieces, all of which are certified with a guarantee of authenticity, made entirely in Italy, according to traditional technical specifications of excellence.

Breathe in the evocative scent of wood and glue and marvel at the vast array of gleaming gold leaf framed art.  Every frame is unique, with many individually commissioned by private clients as well as churches, corporations, international galleries and museums, each frame handmade, one at a time.  The art of using gold leaf to gild wooden objects is over 500 years old, a magical process that turns common wood into burnished, shining treasure by the application of extremely thin sheets of genuine gold.  You are welcomed into Bottega Maselli’s private backroom workshop, almost never seen by members of the public, where you become an intimate participant in all the processes used in the bottega for the creation of their highly regarded artisan art.

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An authentic piece of history

Within the walls of the private workroom behind the Bottega, you enter the secret society of modern day artists, creating pieces according to ancient tradition.   See how the delicate wooden frames are carved and discover the labor intensive process behind the art of applying wafer thin gold leaf. You will see how real gold nuggets are pounded into gossamer sheets of gold leaf and watch as the artists demonstrate the many steps needed to carefully prepare the wooden frames for gilding.  You will learn the process behind the creation of gold leaf framed art and be amazed by the craftsman’s profound respect for the varieties of wood he employs. As you fall under the artist’s golden spell, you may even decide you cannot bear to end the day without a private visit to the sacristry of the Duomo with Maselli himself to view his restorations in situ and fully comprehend the magnitude of his work...

Within the walls of the private workroom behind the Bottega, you enter the secret society of modern day artists, creating pieces according to ancient tradition.   See how the delicate wooden frames are carved and discover the labor intensive process behind the art of applying wafer thin gold leaf. You will see how real gold nuggets are pounded into gossamer sheets of gold leaf and watch as the artists demonstrate the many steps needed to carefully prepare the wooden frames for gilding.  You will learn the process behind the creation of gold leaf framed art and be amazed by the craftsman’s profound respect for the varieties of wood he employs. As you fall under the artist’s golden spell, you may even decide you cannot bear to end the day without a private visit to the sacristry of the Duomo with Maselli himself to view his restorations in situ and fully comprehend the magnitude of his work. 

You become a craftsman in the time honored tradition of Florentine artisans as Gabriele shares his inner sanctum with you.  In the shadow of the Duomo where he has restored several priceless artefacts, Gabriele seduces you with his passion for his craft. Work alongside this master artisan and feel his generosity of spirit as he encourages you to unleash your creativity in the rarefied atmosphere of his own workshop.  With glorious examples of Gabriele’s work on every side, you will be inspired to create your own small gold art frame to take home and cherish as an authentic piece of Florence’s artisan history, still alive and gleaming golden today.

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