Artisans and restoration:
experience at the service of art
Decorative arts and conservation in the Venetian tradition, since 2001
Unione Stuccatori Veneziani was founded in 2001 by a group of craftsmen, disciples of the masterplasterer Mario Fogliata, to support and keep alive many traditional Venetian artisan techniques that were in danger of being lost. This knowledge is used by us in the restoration and conservation ofdecorated architectural surfaces, in the decoration and renovation of prestigious properties.
UNISVE is not only synonymous with stucco decorations and restoration, over the years we have specialized in services for art for individuals and museums. Our technical office offers assistance to architectural firms in the executive design of museum spaces and installations, environmental monitoring, stratigraphic and diagnostic investigations, mapping of decay.
Artisans and plasterers
UNISVE was developed on the idea of recovering and transmitting the artisan knowledge of the stucco artist, a figure of the Venetian decorative tradition who worked alongside architects, stonecutters, painters, carpenters, terrazzo floor creators to decorate the numerous buildings in the city. The work of the plasterer consists in molding a mixture of aerial lime and marble dust invarious shapes ranging from the smooth surface similar to a marble slab, such as marmorino, to the use of relief decorations up to the meticulous realization of complex details in stucco.
Marmorino has ancient origins: already known to the Greeks, it was then widely used by the Romans and entered Venetian construction in the Late Middle Ages. The ancient stucco, suitable for being molded to create decorations, began to be used in Venice in the sixteenth century, until it reached its peak in the eighteenth century. The particularly humid climate of Venice and the rising salts of the brick walls of most Venetian buildings require constant maintenance of the surfaces and the knowledge of the techniques consolidated over the centuries in the lagoon area is fundamental. We have chosen to use only traditional Venetian materials and techniques, discarding any industrial-derived and premixed product, continuing the research and experimentation on traditional materials and techniques.
We create and design interior decorations from the sketch to the final product based on the customer’s needs for any type of environment, both public and private, according to traditional techniques to recreate new environments in the Venetian style and spirit. We treat all surfaces from floor to ceiling according to the specific requests of architects and designers
also involving other highly professional figures such as upholsterers, carpenters, carvers and terrazzieri in the realization. We create different types of finishes and decorations such as marmorino, stucco decorations and frames, frescoes and wall paintings, tromp l’oeil, marble stucco, gilding and stonecarving following traditional techniques.
Restoration of surfaces
UNISVE specializes in the restoration of internal and external surfaces of historic Venetian buildings. Our group is made up of architects and restorers of cultural heritage who, together with the restoration technicians, work on stone materials, mosaics and derivatives, decorated architectural surfaces, carved wooden artefacts, furniture and wooden structures, materials and artefacts in metal and alloys. The restoration interventions are integrated by the historical and artisan knowledge acquired over time.
Our approach to restoration follows the theory of minimal intervention which aims at the conservation and maximum maintenance of the original structure and materials that define the object or the historic building. Pursuing conservative restoration gives you the opportunity to get to know the work in its complexity, the history and the value it bears, as explained in the 1972 Restoration Charter in art. 4: “Restoration means any intervention aimed at maintaining efficiency, facilitating reading and fully transmitting the works to the future”.
Restoration of prestigious properties
We have to our credit numerous architectural restoration interventions and adaptation of systems invery delicate environments such as museums and historic buildings. Thanks to our skills we are able to guarantee respect for the building while adapting it to modern life. UNISVE offers a complete service to those who need to renovate a property in Venice: the collaboration with specialized and loyal firms of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, blacksmiths, terrace workers accustomed to working in prestigious and fragile contexts, are combined with our skills and knowledge on the architectural restoration to carry out the renovation in all details.
UNISVE is able to create finishes according to traditional techniques used over the centuries by artisans in order to create venetian-style environments from ceiling to floor. We also guarantee complete assistance to the property even after the end of the works for routine maintenance, logistics and additional services that are necessary in historic Venetian buildings.
Services for art
To meet the needs of the numerous art locations in the city of Venice and beyond, UNISVE is responsible for providing specialized assistance and logistics services for the preparation of restoration, handling and re-installation of paintings even those in precarious conditions of conservation and of large format. UNISVE collaborates with the most important restorers of works of art and museum institutions to meet their needs for handling and conservation of artworks of cultural heritage.
Our technical office carries out the executive design of permanent and temporary installations, display vitrines and exhibition spaces at the service of Venetian museums and beyond. We are available for advice or to provide thermohygrometric monitoring of the rooms that host works of artin order to ensure the best microclimate for the conservation of the work.
Services to professionals
In parallel with the work on site, the technical staff of UNISVE guarantees support and technical assistance to professional architecture and engineering firms during the design and construction management. Our staff is made up of restorers of cultural heritage, architects and art historians who deal with the production of technical data sheets, mapping, stratigraphic and diagnostic investigations, environmental monitoring, critical surveys, photographic documentation, historical research, consultancy for the resolution of problems of various nature and the realization of executive details. We carry out inspections and offer advice on the interventions that can be carried out with the relative evaluations and the preparation of specifications.
Historical research and experimentation
UNISVE carries out research on historical documentation of artistic techniques to discover the secrets of the ancient masters by experimenting with the processes described in the documents evaluating the results over time, directly studying the ancient artifacts and their composition to recover these ancient traditional techniques.
Over the years, we have collaborated with the Ca 'Foscari and IUAV universities of Venice for the experimentation of products and techniques, also contributing to scientific publications such as the book "Knowledge and restoration of plaster and external wall surfaces in Venice. Samples,
examples, intervention issues " of 2017 in collaboration with the IUAV.
Projects and collaborations to broaden horizons
UNISVE tries to expand and grow by dealing with different realities. Our collaborations have as their objective the promotion and transmission of artisan knowledge to young people and professionals. For this reason UNISVE frequently collaborates with Confartigianato for artisanal events, the APPC Order of Venice for the organization of training courses for professionals, with the DoVe association for events in the area, CTS for the creation of courses for restorers, as well as collaborating with Il Prato publisher, associations and technical schools.
What we offer to schools and professionals
UNISVE actively participates and contributes to the training program of the European Center for Heritage Trades of Villa Fabris in Thiene, the Veneto Institute for Cultural Heritage, the "Michelangelo Guggenheim" State Art School of Venice and the Free Steiner Waldorf "Novalis" School . We also carry out training courses for the unemployed and students, curricular and
extracurricular internships, refresher courses and finally, training for professionals in the sector such as architects, craftsmen and restorers.