Claudia Bini

My family comes from Tuscany where it is common to find many paintings in people's homes and an interest for art; so also in my family. My mother has always been interested in decorative arts. She encouraged me to follow my interest to exploit and create by myself and to try different techniques. I attended the Institute of Art in Monza for a five years education as graphic designer and one year in the faculty of painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. After that, I have been working as freelance with graphical design for advertising for some years; just about when the computerization took place on a large scale. The arrival of the computer has certainly relieved the graphic designers from many time consuming jobs. However, part of the pleasure to create things by hand was gone. That's probably why I find that mosaic is the perfect media for my pieces. I love to work with my hands, feel the stones and glass shards under my fingers, not to mention the pleasure of grouting a surface and uncover the final result. I am mostly self-taught, I have attended some courses in glass fusing but my first encounter with mosaic was when I worked as assistant for a journalist who is active in many fields of decorative arts. She was preparing two handbooks with creative ideas for interior decorations and needed many pieces for the "work in progress" pictures. She gave me a pair of mosaic nippers, some pieces of stained glass and a terracotta bowl and said "Start cutting!" It was 1995.....I haven't stop cutting and snipping since then! Since 2004 I live in Lund, in the south of Sweden. The position of the town is quite fortunate because is quite close to the sea as well as countryside landscapes. Everything is reachable by bicycle, if the weather allows it. It's a very inspiring place. Subjects in my works are often taken from nature; they can be landscapes I find interesting (I take many pictures) or flowers. They are my favorite; I can spend hours in the garden observing their stunning range of colors, structures and shapes in the attempt to reproduce something so beautiful in mosaic. I do volunteer work in a small shop in the botanical garden belonging to Lund University so there are many opportunities to see various tropical flowers bloom and get to know a lot more from people being very passionate about their interest. I never get bored looking at flowers it is like meditating. When I depict flowers and other motives, I want to explore and try new methods and materials in new combinations in order to find a new angle. It may be to be figuratively accurate in the details, another time to try to find the essence, e.g., what fewest elements that make a dahlia look like one. I think it is important to stay curious, always trying something new and learning new things. I work mostly with direct method and I love to create pieces for interior as well as garden decoration. I also work on commission and participate in collective exhibitions.