Murano Magic is now over 🙂 Finally complete. I am happy and satisfied and weirdly confident that I’ll be back in Murano one day soon. I made some awesome friends and great memories. Now, I’m continuing on my travels through Milan, Lake Como and now Switzerland’s Interlaken area. Internet access is not really user friendly in Italy but now that I’m in Switzerland the internet access situation has improved. Yay, more story telling! 🙂
Wednesday 26th March
I woke up this morning puzzling over another weird dream: I met a man who was a leopard! He still had his spots on his skin. I think I must have inhaled some of that silver and gold fuming from John’s demo. Again this man looked like one of John Olson’s beads come to life!
Today is Pati Walton’s class – Garden Beads! Yay! We start off making all sorts of stringer and cane for flowers and stems and greenery. Pati shows us her flowers and then it’s our turn to practise. A great idea from Pati was to practise our flowers on little lollipops and maria’s on the end of the rods – quick and simple rather than making a whole bead to practise on. Less waste of glass and you might come up with some great buttons or pendants!
We head out for lunch to our usual place. The weather is still unusually cold in Italy, around 10 degrees, and has everyone getting stuck into soups and pastas. John Olson (Johnny for short) is good value at lunch. Actually, he’s good value all around the place. He’s always chatting and curious about everyone and having a joke with us all. And he and Pati tease each other which makes for a good laugh. Those two are definitely a comedy duo, with Cosi being the scene stealer. Cosi is adorable and so tiny and people are always saying how they’re going to take her home. She gets alot of attention from all of us – she’s always to be found being cradled in someones warm arms 🙂
Anyways back at class, Pati demonstrates her garden bead to us – she makes it look so easy! We all make one ourselves. Well, I attempt to make one. My stringer control is way off the richter scale and my bead cracks quite abit. I curse myself and want to put my bead into the vermiculite. But Pati shows us how to repair the cracks and always tells us not to panic or dump the bead when things go wrong. And I eventually realise that my torch flame is up way too high for any stringer work. But it’s a bit late now, and I’m starting to develop an attitude and a grudge towards my bead making skills. I see it and try to stop it from raising it’s ugly head. I think I chat to Johnny O a bit more that day – he’s always up for a chat. Cool guy.
But now in hindsight, the one big thing that I will take away from Pati’s class is her ability to not panic in the face of bead disaster. Of course she’s been torching waa-ay long than my piddly 1 year so she’s confident and most likely seen alot of disasters in her time. So it was great to see her work cool and calm and to lead by example, and I have I will now channel “the confidence of Pati” when I make beads now until I become confident with myself and the glass. 🙂 And another big step that I took is that I am a hothead user at home and have only had a brief stint on a dual-fuel torch once before Murano. So I think not knowing too much about the torch to start with kind of threw me too.
But, I make one more stuff up before the end of the day. I encase my bead. This is okay to encase a bead but not when it wasn’t one of the steps to reproduce in our class project. I so just wanted to go home that afternoon and sulk. But I stayed back after class instead and make more stamen cane for flowers for tomorrow. Well, lucky I did because in walks Mike Frantz with Corina Tettinger! Pati and John were about to leave, and Quinton had gone to pick up Sarah Hornik and Indie from the airport so Pati and John stayed back and caught up with Corina and Mike. I couldn’t believe and couldn’t concentrate on melting my rod to stuff into an optic mold, so I kept melting and cooling my rod, over and over 🙂 I grinned like an idiot and waved at Corina. She walked around the table looking and chatting to us. She came over to me and we said hi, she asked if we had met before, I said no and introduced myself. She says she really wants to go to Australia and teach – Marianne, Sharon and I were all like “YEAH!” She sat down next to me while I’m still melting and cooling my rod, not concentrating at all. Corina notices and says, “C’mon, what are you doing here? Make something.” Gah! How embarrassing, I hadn’t realised what I was doing 🙂 So, I put my brain back into gear and stuff that melted rod into the optic mold. Next came the putting the stringer into the grooves. Good thing my brain wasn’t working other wise I would have frozen with stage fright with my wobbly stringer control. I dived straight into it and made wonky lines. Corina jumps in straight away and helps me with tips – wow! I finally realised that I had just watched her Stringer Control video shortly before I left, and then the full realisation of it all (who she was and my stringer control was shit) hit me. But she was awesome and didn’t miss a beat and I had no time to stay nervous. She got me holding the stringer and rod right, the flame right and guided me through it. How cool is that?! I would have to say my whole attitude towards my bead making had changed right then.
Corina notices my Carlo Dona tools next to me and asks about them. She picks up my blow tube and starts unblocking it. I suggest that she uses it and make a hollow bead which she promptly does (I now have Corina spit in my hollow tube now – wow! I’m never gonna wash that tube again!! Hahah! 😉 Di East comes in to the studio too and everyone is talking – a real buzz. Di offers to do a demo for us students, but I have to miss out and head back to the apartment. Due to all the apartments fluff ups, Marianne and I have a chance to move into a cheaper, closer apartment that has a computer and wireless (oh yeah baby!). It also happens to be in between Corina and Mike’s apartments (very cool). So I say my goodbyes and tell Corina that we will be neighbours. I go home to pack for tomorrow’s move. Ugh – I have to say that packing is one of my least favourite past times. Even though I travel alot, you’d think I wouldn’t mind it, but packing backpacks is not one of my super powers so it tends to be “bag stuffing” that I’m good at. 🙂