Atelier Marega is a maskmakers’ shop. Although someone might wrongly think that this profession started only recently with the touristic flows, the maskmaker ‘s activity goes back to 1400. On the 10th of April 1436, the Masters of the Painters’ guild in Venice, reorganizing the entire corporation, also founded the profession of the Venetian “maschereri” or “mascareri”.
This was probably due to the high demand for masks, coming from a market in rapid expansion, that must have attracted a considerable number of craftsmen to this profession. In the years between 1530 and 1600, eleven members were admitted to this new guild, among them there was also a woman: Barbara Scharpetta.These craftsmen worked on volti (Faces) made of papier mache and fine waxed canvas. They could sell their products not only in Venice but all over Italy. Nevertheless, the meaning of the mask in Venice was unique: the Venetian’s desire to lose himself, to lose touch with his own subjectivity, was much stronger than any moral restraints, and the countless masses of costumes are the surest evidence of an unrestrainable common desire to break free and regain identity in another different kind of collectivity. This was a general letting off of steam in other words, a casting out of historic pains and evils. Today, as Venetian maschereri ourselves, we still work with similar techniques and materials as it was in the past for our master ancestors. This is why our masks are all handmade papier mache masks.