Grafton artist Andy Volpe will offer an “active display” of Medieval-Renaissance period drawing and printing techniques on Sunday, April 14 at V Organic Cafe in Upton.
Volpe has been studying and building a body of work of the “Old Masters” techniques and media since 2006, which he offers as a presentation or display to schools, colleges, libraries in addition to his well-known Roman Legionary presentations. Volpe was showcased in November 2012 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem in support of its Medieval Tapestries exhibit, and he has been featured at the Westboro Gallery and other artist exhibitions.
At V Organic Cafe, Volpe will have a small display showing some of the materials and tools used in preparing paper, parchment and wood panel for silverpoint drawing and illumination, in use from 1300s to the 1500s, in addition to several of his drawings, prints, and works using these techniques such as silverpoint and copper engraving for display and sale. Visitors may ask questions and try their own hand at metalpoint or feather pen drawing on prepared papers and parchment.
Volpe is currently developing a workshop to be taught at the Cafe for later in the spring, which will encompass the use of metalpoint and feather quill pen.
Silverpoint (metalpoint) is a drawing technique seen in the 13th century until the early 17th century where a metal stylus, silver being the premiere metal but brass, copper and gold was also used, was drawn on a specially prepared paper or panel using Gesso, a kind of plaster.
Volpe makes use of period manuscripts and treatises that have been translated and reproduced in his research and experimentation with the techniques. Volpe also works in traditional Intaglio printmaking, such as engraving and etching. Masters such as Durer, Schongauer, and Rembrandt are among his favorites and influences.
One of his projects is printing a copy of Paul Revere’s Boston Massacre that he prints and hand-colors for the printing office of Edes and Gill, a reconstructed colonial print shop in the North End of Boston, and he regularly demonstrates at the Museum of Printing in North Andover during their Father’s Day Open House.