giovedì 4 novembre 2010

Progress update #5: Giovanni's visitation.

In recent days we have had the honor of having Giovanni Tuccio visit Casa di l'Amuri once again with his wife Grazia and daughter Miriam, and see him do some amazing work on the uncovered windowsill as he promised that he would, when he visited us for the first time 2 weeks ago. We were all very happy to see Giovanni demonstrate for us the very professional way of repairing the windowsill in an aesthetically pleasing way in order to protect it from rain penetrating through the window shutters. He also gave us the courage to pick up some hammers and do some more work on part of a floor that was covered by concrete just outside the entrance to the house. What follows is a selection of photos from the night which show the process.

Giovanni's daughter Miriam and Aureliano help
Giovanni unpack his restoration toolkit....
.....which has a whole range of impressive and unique tools inside it.
Giovanni prepares a mixture of lime and water. He confirmed that our
windowsill is made from sandstone, and so some crushed
sandstone is also added to the mixture. This way the mixture
will be the same color as the stone slab when applied to it.

He then applies a sprinkling of water to the areas
 which are likely to get wet when it rains.

In the meantime, Miriam watches with admiration as
her father performs the repair-job.

Giovanni then gently spreads the lime-water-sandstone
mixture on the areas most likely to receive rainwater.

In the meantime, Miriam and Grazia
help us clean the floor....
.....and move some things around the house.

Giovanni applies a coating of a liquid which will make it easier
to chisel away any substances which are not sandstone..

The windowsill with the still-wet coating.

In the meantime, our attention turned to a rather
unsightly patch of concrete just outside our
main doors. With Giovanni's help we decided
to tackle the concrete in an attempt to reveal
the original floor tiles underneath.

Manuela breaking the concrete under Giovanni's

Aurelio also puts his muscle into the concrete

The book-shelf is removed so that everyone
can dig in.

The gang begins to clean away the concrete
for disposal.....

....and Manuela champions the idea of recycling it to be used
as border-lines between the future garden paths.

From left to right, Manuela, Aureliano, Giovanni and Peppe
Minniti on their smoko.

The clean pavement showing the original

Some quick work was also done on the doorway.

Meanwhile, Aurelio entertains a tired Miriam
with old cartoon clips on YouTube.
Grazia and Manuela cleaning the bookshelf... that it can be put into our main room.
The sandstone windowsill 1 hour later, when
the coating has dried. The sandstone is now
much better protected from the elements, and
looks quite clean and authentic.

In the meantime, Aureliano prepares spaghetti alla carbonara,
with an addition of lemon zest to the standard sauce. 

Some chopped sausages fried with lemon leaves to make the

A side dish of sweet potato which was later deep-fried.

The finished and very delicious-looking carbonara.

The gang enjoying a well-earned dinner. From left to right:
Giovanni, Miriam, Manuela, Peppe Pavone, Aureliano,
Peppe Minniti, Grazia, Aurelio and Sergie.

Performing the work with great care gave Giovanni some time to talk with us so that we could find out more about the source of his passion for restoring ancient works. Apparently when he was as old as his daughter is now, he had a strong interest in the direction of archaeology. However, due to an issue involving stuttering, Giovanni's parents decided that he would not be able to attend a standard institution to study archaeology, and instead he spent his younger years studying various subjects of the arts. He started working with restoration around 11 years ago, seeing it as a way to marry his experience in artistic fields with his love for architecture, and over the years he has gotten quite good at what he does, seeing as he periodically gets called overseas to work on large projects such as old cathedrals. According to Giovanni, he enjoys what he does but ideally would like to work on archaeological sites, as his ultimate passion is to be the one to re-create a setting or environment which existed hundreds or thousands of years ago.
We all appreciated the care and effort which was put by Giovanni into the Casa di l'Amuri, and by the end of the night we all felt much more courageous about approaching the other sections of the house which also await some much needed repair.
Giovanni can be reached through the following email address:

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