The job of creating one of Venice's most recognizable products - whether for use in the famous Carnival of Venice, the Commedia dell'arte or simply as masquerade masks - is an impressive one. In our workshop we draw on a synergy of techniques and approaches from ancient arts and crafts with no limits placed on artistic ingenuity. We combine sculpture, painting, and decorative techniques to achieve a level of craftsmanship with our Venetian masks that truly qualifies them as art.
All of our masks are custom papier-mache masks hand-made from gesso molds by expert artisans. This makes each of our masks a unique piece, the expression of the artist who creates it. Materials used for decoration are the result of continual research and include precious fabrics, real feathers, Swarovski crystals, as well as gold leaf and silver leaf.
Ca' Macana is known throughout the world for the outstanding quality of its masks and for its innovation. Classic masks such as the bauta and the moretta are faithfully reproduced from authentic paintings and illustrations by Pietro Longhi and Francesco Guardi along with drawings by Giovanni Grevembroch. Fine Venetian carnival masks, such as the harlequin (l'Arlechinno) and the colombina, create the most complete collection of Commedia dell’Arte masks you will find in any workshop in Venice.
Meanwhile, our contemporary masks are absolutely original. They are produced using the same time-honored techniques as traditional Venetian masks.
Our commitment to creating authentic Venetian masks has been recognized over the years, and as result, they have been chosen for numerous films and theatre productions including Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick, Fifty Shades of Grey, the Vienna Opera, and fashion photography for Vogue Japan.
What makes our workshop unique, apart from the outstanding craftsmanship of our Venetian masks, is our commitment to communicating the fascinating history of the famous Carnival that was started during the Republic of Venice (Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta). There are aspects of everyday life in ancient Venice that are wonderful to know because they are part of a society and era that has disappeared and will never come again. Did you know, for example, that Venetians used the bauta, the queen of masks, for more than six months out of the year? And that wearing the mask was mandatory on certain occasions? Do you know the true meaning and the use of the plague doctor mask?
Anyone interested in learning about Venetian masks, even including how we make them, will find everything at Ca’ Macana. For decades our workshop has been open to everyone interested in the secrets of old Venetian life and how to make a Venetian mask. Come to our workshop where you can create and decorate Venetian masks under the expert guidance of our craftsmen.
Today our workshop is a popular venue for team building events and educational activities. We also organize other types of activities for a variety of groups, including conferences on the famous Carnival of Venice and the Commedia dell'arte.