Friday 21st March – First up, apologies to everyone for not writing sooner. Internet access is a little hard to get to here on Murano. It is here but when you have to dash off to class each day and then hang around in the evening for glass playing sessions, you are left with no time to do other stuff like internet access, shopping, glass licking and that sort of thing that you would normally do on Murano.
So now I’ve had to move to another apartment, (long story) but I have wireless access – sweet! But finding the extra time is getting harder and harder to do – but I’ll manage somehow! Now, I should stop carrying on about the woes of internet access on Murano and actually talk about Murano!
It is loads of fun so far. We’re at the end of week 2 (my first week for me) now and have one week to go, but I will start the blog on the first couple of days of the trip so that you grab abit of the excitement from the start.
I caught the vaporetto from the airport to Colonna stop on Murano on Good Friday morning. I just flew in from Wroclaw, Poland and I was lucky to be on the flight due to mass crowds at the airport for the long weekend at Warsaw airport. My delay meant that the flight was delayed by 10 minutes – oops. But who cares once you’re in Venice!!
Quinton met me at the Colonna stop and suggested we take the ferry around the island to the studio. Me, stupidly, thought the island wasn’t that big and that we could walk the distance, and me also being hyper excited, said we should walk it. With my backpack. It’s not really a long walk, but it is when you are carrying 15 kilos on your back. Oh well, at least I got to pass all the glass shops! Wow, you don’t realise how much glass is going on in Murano. I was in Murano in the summer of 2006 and I felt that alot of the glass was too extravagant for my tastes but did find a couple of things that I liked. Now I’ve found that the ratio is now tipping to my favour. I also found the glass bead shop I loved last time I was here but didn’t buy anything. I always regretted not buying anything. But I think that will change this trip!
The studio is out on a far point on Murano, a decent walk, in an old building that Mr Moretti has bought along with some glass making factories out the back. Mr Moretti has transformed a couple of rooms into a bathroom, kitchen and studio. The studio is quite big with big windows facing the canal. It lets in a lot of great light to the beadmakers at the table. The table is huge, with about 8 bead stations set up – minors and mega minors. Q has another table with all the equipment – 2 kilns, glass, silver, tools, murrini, frit, more torches etc. And it’s mostly all Vetrofond glass (of course, they’re sponsoring the classes) with even some odd lots in it! Quinton has printed out some posters of the teacher’s beads and stuck them on the wall around the studio. It looks pretty cool.
There are nice views out to the canal and the Alps. Di East was coming to the end of demonstrating a murrini to a small class – Marianne from home, Dorothy – USA but living in Italy, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel (France), Alessia Fatone (Italy) – oh! how international! I arrived just in time for lunch which is at a local restaurant. Of course it’s pasta for lunch followed by espresso, but the conversation is the highlight. Chatting to everyone and learning about where they’re from and how they got into glass is really intersting. Alessia teaches here in Italy, Claudia is about to show in a gallery in Paris with other artists, and Dorothy is a bead maker that’s living in Italy – lucky girl!After lunch we head back to the studio to watch Di demonstrate a flower murrini Japanese-style. Such a long process but so worth it. She shapes her murrini in a special way so that they’re easy to incorporate into a bead, which she also demonstrates. She uses Thomson enamels to bring out brighter colours. She also shows us how to make our own alabaster-like colours using enamels and gives us lots of tips on how to use them.
After this, we all get into making beads – whatever we want. Around 7.30 -8pm Marianne and I leave to get to our apartment that we are sharing. I see now that leaving the studio at this late time is quite normal, but staying later is normal too. I am exhausted from the long day but happy and can’t wait for the next day 🙂
Being Easter, it’s a full moon here and the tide is coming in really high at night. So high that it comes over the edges of the walkways. Scary if it gets so high that it can get into your apartment!
So, that’s the first day so far. Photos to come soon, I promise.