Monday 24th March
Today is cold! We met up with Sharon at the little coffee shop at the metal bridge this morning. Quinton and Griet were already there, plus his daughter Tyler-Grace, and his mother who had come over for a few days for a visit. It’s cool sitting in the coffee shop, soaking up a little bit of Murano, watching the locals on the way to work…And we don’t have to work!
But we have to make beads! So the morning was spent trying out new techniques and ideas inspired from yesterdays day trip, chatting to Tyler-Grace and also beach-combing. At low tide there is a little bit of sand exposed of the island just around the corner from the studio. We’ve all fossicked here, finding all sorts of old Murano glass that’s been dumped into the lagoon of the years, maybe even centuries. Di East has even melted some down to make a bead. There is also an old glass factory behind the studio that is now owned by Vetrofond. The old kilns are being dismantled and moved out, but there is one or two furnaces and kilns working under a glass maestro Davide (oh, I’m terrible with names). But there is quite a bit of glass being dumped around the place and this has been fun to rummage through. But we all have to be careful, not because of the sharp glass, but how much our luggage is going to weigh after the trip! I highly recommend doing classes on Murano – just don’t bring much luggage!
Lunch was particularly memorable for me. Di East sat next to me and I had to hold myself back from jumping up and down in excitement and fan adoration. I think I managed to keep my shit together quite well enough to have a lovely chat with her. She has a quiet voice but a funny, almost impish, sense of humor. She wears this big fleecy jumper that makes me want to cuddle as it looks like a Wombles coat. It is really cold here, unusually so, and Di is wearing as many layers as possible. It’s quite funny to watch her peel off and pile it on everywhere we go. Q jokes and calls it “the many layers of Di”.
But back to lunch! Sorry! The other memorable part was that on the way to lunch we bumped into Pati Walton and Johnny Olson! Q invited them to lunch so they joined us. So it was all very cool to have these 3 great bead makers at my table! Oh, plus the restaurant gave us free Panettone cake (traditional Easter cake) for dessert – okay, that’s not so exciting 🙂 Just a little bit though 😉
Johnny O did a boro bead demo for us. It was very interesting to watch as I’ve never seen it before. He used hollow boro tubes and blew a hollow bead. He calls it his “inside-out bead”. He fumes it with silver and gold, then lays boro dots inside the bead before he closes it, shapes it and puts in the holes for the stringing. Very impressive. Marianne has a great shot of me looking really excited when he blows a huge bubble – I hope you guys get to see it!
Next Pati did a demo a 3-D flower using pink flower cane she’s made. It’s quite simple and it makes sense when you see it done, but it’s so effective and it can make a really nice pendant bead. I’ve practised this and haven’t been so successful yet. Actually, the things that I’ve seen so far here have been so simple (well, they look that way) and different enough to blow me away and inspire me to make beads.
I so want to get a bigger torch when I get back home. I want to be able to make bigger beads and hollows….Being away from home, away from my little studio and hot head torch has been great. My thoughts on glass and what you can do with it, how you can work with it has just been widened. When I think about my desk and torch all I can think is that it’s not big enough for everything I want to do! Johnny O described my predicament in terms that I understood – I’ll be going from broadband to dial-up when I get home! Ouch! That’s gonna hurt 🙂
Cheers for now