Fresco throws up many challenges

It's a long way from his home in Florence but the challenges faced by fresco artist Alan Pascuzzi in his latest work in Subiaco remain similar to those he usually has to master.

They involve juggling variables including preparing the surface of the wall on which his fresco will take shape, the moisture levels in the plaster, the air temperature and the detail of the image he will create. Since last Wednesday, Dr Pascuzzi has been working at St Joseph's, Subiaco, on a fresco commissioned as part of the church's 80th anniversary celebrations.

Yesterday he was in a section of the church foyer working on a fresco that depicts Christ in the workshop of Joseph.

Before Dr Pascuzzi started his work the wall was stripped back to the brick and new layers of plaster applied, with the last layer using lime plaster and special sand brought from the Po River in Italy.

American-born Dr Pascuzzi said it was vital to be alert when applying the pigment used to colour the work.

"You have to be aware of the environment, the climate, the wall, how much water you are putting on, how thick you are putting the plaster on," he said.

Dr Pascuzzi expects to finish the work in a few days.

The West Australian

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