Friday, April 18, 2008

Last Day on Murano

Boats at dock on Murano. Caio Murano and Italy tomorrow!
View through the fence.
Pirate ship on Murano.
Boat traffic.

Another glass street art on Murano. An abacus!

My roommate, her sister and sister's boyfriend.

Water view on Murano.


Orsoni Smalti Factory in Venice

A Venetian gondola on the Grand Canal.
A drain in the street - guess it just drains to the water below.
A good looking Italian fixing his boat.
This is the Murano water bottle filler on the street!
A view of the Doges Palace on San Marco square.
The boat stop at San Marco Square.
Barbini glass studio. Barbini was the original glass artist on Murano who did solid glass pieces and was very innovative in his techniques. His studio was next door to our apartment and was in an elegant old house. Barbini died about 2 years ago at age 94.
Barbini studio.
Barbini courtyard.
We visited the mirror factory on Murano. They make gorgeous glass mirrors
More examples of the larger mirrors at the glass factory.
A barge boat in Venice.
Fish market was happening in Venice when we arrived on the vaporetto.
Fish market setup with their boat in the background.
Little street in Venice where the Orsoni Smalti Factory is located.
Window screen.
The machine they use to break the glass smalti into little pieces for the mosaics at the Orsoni Smalti Factory.
Breaking the silvered glass into pieces - carefully.
On Thursday, April 17 we visited the Orsoni Smalti Factory in Venice. They make smalti (the glass pieces) for making mosaics and are the best in the world. Part of the factory is a school and there were some Americans there taking a class. They also have a Bed & Breakfast in the old mansion--anyone can stay here if it is not full of students. The photo above is there smelti library - they have sheets of all their colors.
Mosaic piece in the courtyard.
Silvered glass pieces getting bagged.
The pots they cook the glass in -- the crucibles. Felix the cat is checking them out. Felix is a neighbor cat who loves to visit the factory and school. It is a very nice area with gardens, grass and a lovely old mansion. The crucibles last about 6 weeks and then they have to throw them out because they crack.
Dave Butts with Felix.
Bin of blue glass scrap! Beautiful in the sun though. It has silvered edges and was shining in the sunlight.
The old color charts in the mansion showing all the smalti colors.
The group of glassmakers that visited the Orsoni Smalti Factory.
Bins of smalti pieces in all the colors.
A mask made out of mosaic pieces. It was very heavy so would be uncomfortable to wear but was beautiful to look at.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Murano Class Ends - but not trip!

Today was the last day of our six day course. Kind of sad to leave but I am exhausted. We've been working hard in class, visiting many different Murano and Venice places and enjoying ourselves. I have been trying to soak up the very artistic atmosphere here to take back with me.

A view of the "back canals" of Murano.
Of course I have to show more photos of dogs and cats on Murano! This was a puppy who came to the studio today - just a little 2 month Black Lab puppy. So cute and playful.

This is my little winged torso that I made in class. It was a hard class for me as I haven't done anything like this off the mandrel but I did learn a lot and with lots of practice should improve. The techniques that I learned for watching a master artisan will be invaluable.
Here I am working away!
A boat unloading the day's goods first thing in the morning before the tourists get to Murano. Just like the trucks do at home.

We had a birthday party for Lucio - gifts, food, drink and lots of laughter. One of his presents was an "Italian Stallion" t-shirt which his friends thought was hilarious. Here he is with Opehlia.
Lucio in his new Wolverine Football baseball cap! Go Blue!
Ophelia hanging with the Italian men!
Yes, Lucio looks good in his new Wolverine cap!
Say what?

Lucio's tiny kitchen. We had to cook our party stuff in this small stove. But we did.

The selection of music in the studio. Hundreds of CDs. Lucio loves Proco Harem, Elton John, Genesis, Rolling Stones, etc.

Folks working hard at Lucio Bubucco class. The studio is nice, venting system works well.
Rommate Jen working on her blog at night - just as we are right now!
A delivery boat like you see here every morning. And it has been raining a lot.
Jamaica the resaturant dog looking outside. We had to eat lunch inside the other day as it was cold and nasty. Even the dog wanted to go out and play!
Lucio made a couple little tiny beads just for fun: cat and mouse and a wood duck. Of course they were perfect and he made with such ease.