Saturday 5th April – Class-free day!
From my diary…
Wow, I really needed this day. I have been feeling weary. Not tired as such, yes I had been putting up with less and less sleep but the excitement of each day was keeping me awake and stopping me from feeling tired or sleepy. But I felt an inner weariness. A part of me was looking forward to heading home. Not that I wanted to be there, I really didn’t want it to end, I just needed a break to absorb everything I was seeing, doing and learning. Murano is a great place to do a glass course – the inspiration and the learning is fantastic! I highly recommend a trip there for any glass bead maker. Even if you are there for a 3 day class. Just make sure you factor in some free days so that you can hit the shops and be inspired by the Muranese artists.
I stayed in bed until lunch time – ahhh decadence! No, really, I sit in my bed with my laptop uploading photos and my blog! 🙂 I eventually head out to start my day. First up – coffee. The sun is shining, the tourists are out en-masse and I’m smiling ‘cos I’m free.
After coffee, I hit the ATM until it can give me no more money. Today is a shopping day, so I’m not mucking around 🙂 I decide to go to the glass museum next. Get a bit of culture! On the way there I stop at Andrea Guibelli’s shop. He’s busy, flat out making hollow bead after hollow bead. I interrupt him to buy a black hollow bead bracelet. I say my farewell to him so that he can get back to his work. He has pages and pages of orders and bags and bags of hollow beads ready to send off. Man, he is busy.
The Glass Museum (Museo Vetrario) is very good and interesting with very early glass pieces, but I would have liked to have seen more info on their tools. The shop in the museum is worth looking at. They have all sorts of glass objects and jewellery are for sale. The jewellery is mostly, if not all, made by Marina and Susanna Sent. These Muranese sisters make really nice modern glass beads and jewellery – worth checking out. Also, I bought a book about glass on Murano called “Comprehensive guide to the island of Murano” by Michela and Nicolo Scibilia. This book is worth picking up while visiting Murano especially if you are into glass. It has loads of info and addresses of the glass maestros and companies.
Next I head back for the apartment for lunch, but stop in at Davide Penso’s shop. He’s in his shop today and also there are 3 ladies from the US there. They’re here for classes with Lucio Bubacco, so we meet and have a chat. Davide is very interesting to talk to and I’m curious about his classes. If, or when, I get back to Murano, I will do a class with him. In his class he focuses on the business side of glass bead making too, as well as bead making. On Murano, glass is a business and not so much a hobby or craft like a lot of us here in Australia have it as. He said to me, “You cannot make 3 beads an hour, you have to make a bead every 5 minutes otherwise you are doing something wrong.” This piece of conversation, along with another one I had later today, showed me that glass bead making is not a hobby or part-time craft here in Murano. It’s a business and the business will run through the family. To me, that’s definitely a good point for doing a class with Davide Penso.
After lunch, it was more shopping time : ) I headed out to see Diego Bottocin (spelling, someone please?) of “CriDi Snc”. CriDi stands for Cristine and Diego, his
sister girlfriend. They’re on the main glass street of Fondamenta Vetrai, 116. I had actually been in that shop 2 years earlier, before I knew about lampworking, and had been admiring some ivory coloured beads of theirs. I really regretted not buying anything from that shop back then, but today I had my chance. Diego has a modern style to his work. Mainly with transparents over opaques in different styles. He’s also very good at making rings. So if you visit his shop, make sure you buy a ring. I bought 2. One is red that has been cold worked (designs ground into it after the bead has cooled.) And one ivory one with reactive colours and shapes on it. I also bought a set of ivory earrings that had also been cold worked to look kind of like golf balls. Diego was there and he remembered me from his visit to the studio and we had a quick chat. Nice guy.
I was happy with my little stash of glass, so headed out to run an errand for Mike Frantz that I almost forgot about. Mike asked Marianne and I to drop off a Frantz Art Glass sweater and other things to the glass maestro Davide Salvadore the day he left Murano. I was on my own today, Marianne and Sharon had hit Venice shopping, but it was the end of the day and I hoped to run into them so we could all go to see Davide. We were hoping to also get to see his murrini and other amazing glass work.
But I was on my own and headed out to Davide’s workshop, which incidentally was the same building as where Marianne and I were staying in the first week. So it was easy to find, but I doubted that anyone would be there as it was around 5pm on a Saturday. I buzzed a couple of times and then eventually the door opened. I was greeted by an Italian version of David Beckham – Riccardo Ferro. Nice. I asked for Davide and he showed me in – Davide was in the courtyard – swaying. I had arrived after a long boozy lunch and these two guys were relaxed! Luckily they spoke abit of English so I was able to explain why I was there giving them things. They were very nice and invited me in for a coffee and a bit of grappa – hmm.
Anyway, I asked about Davide’s glass work and Riccardo took me to another room and showed it to me. Wow! This stuff was very cool. It looks like hollow instruments with an African theme. There is murrini in them, beads hanging off them and alot of cold work done to them to accentuate them. I found out that Riccardo is a cold glass worker and that he actually did the cold work on my ring and earrings – cool! He’s also done abit of fusing with Davide’s glass leftovers so there were a couple of pieces there were very unique and look amazing with the light behind them. He was definitely proud of his work, and he had every right to be. I was so happy to be seeing all their work – it really was amazing. This room is not open to the public, so I’m glad I was forward and asked to see it. There must have been thousands of dollars worth of glass in that room. No photos though!
I invited them back to our studio as Sarah’s class would have been over. They accepted my invitation and we all hopped into Riccardo’s boat to ride up to our studio. Now for me, this was a great experience to jump into a locals boat and zoom around Murano. Even better was that Riccardo switched on the stereo so we could listen to music as we headed up the canals! One funny thing on Murano is that some guys treat their boats as their cars – they crank up the music and bass so all you hear is the “doof doof doof” as the boat goes by! Just like the cars on the road! Very funny.
So they came up to the studio and Davide did a little demo. Unfortunately there weren’t too many people around so it was a bit subdued. But one thing he did (and I missed seeing) was that he licked his finger and then marvered his bead along it! Yow! Teflon fingers!! I bet he does that to impress the girls : )
Next we got Riccardo onto the torch, but since he’s a cold glass worker, he just played with the glass, sticking bits together. But that’s okay, I have cold work of his so I’m happy. It was just abit of fun.
All up, it was a long day but I loved it. I really was looking forward to my day off and I felt like I crammed it with glass which is exactly how it should’ve been. I was wishing for another day on Murano to see many more places mentioned in the book on Murano from the museum. I seriously will be back!