The History of Ca’ Macana: rediscovering traditional Venetian masks
The first efforts at Venetian carnival masks were done at home, without any strict adherence to tradition, letting imagination go in full flight. The results were varied because no one at the time had a precise knowledge of what techniques and material to use. Thus, rediscovering how to make Venetian masks was a real adventure.
From early days to founding the premiere Venice mask workshop
In 1984, almost without realizing it, we were laying the foundation for our future Venice mask atelier.
After opening our Venice mask atelier, we stopped selling our traditional Venetian masks to shops and vendors, preferring to offer Venice masks for sale directly to our customers. We have since expanded our operation to include two workshops in the center of historic Venice, and now open our doors to anyone interested in how to make Venetian masks among the general public.
The business has rapidly evolved into other areas of arts and crafts including sculpture, set designs for films, and furniture for fashion boutiques. We have worked on important film productions including “Casanova” by Lasse Hallström and “Eyes Wide Shut” by Stanley Kubrick.
Over the years we have become a focal point in the world of traditional Venetian masks. This is for two main reasons. For one, faithfulness to tradition: we do everything by hand, the way that traditional Venice masks were originally made. Second, we have distinguished ourselves in our commitment to transmitting knowledge about the history and techniques used in making traditional Venetian masks.
Indeed, on top of offering Venetian masks for sale, we routinely hold short lectures as well as theoretical-practical courses introducing people to both our work and the fascinating world of Venetian carnival masks.
The rediscovery of an age-old art form and revitalizing it - turning a playful experiment into a life's work - has been a fantastic adventure. The adventure continues today with genuine passion thanks to a new generation contributing to our Venetian mask workshop.
Indeed, continuing the tradition and teaching the meaning of Venetian masks to new generations gives us a real pride in our work.
If you would like a glimpse into this incredible world of traditional Venetian masks, have a look at the sections on our website on the true meaning of Venetian masks as well as the section on how to make a Venetian mask.