Tuesday 25th March
Woke up this morning after having a weird dream about a man that was dressed in black but he glowed blue. He had a pet (dog?) that was irridescent kind of like aurora b, oh crap, I had to pick a word I can’t spell didn’t I? Borealis! Aurora borealis. Anyway back to the dream, I figure that John’s boro bead demo from yesterday really made an impression on my mind. The colours in his beads are brilliant and they were the same colour as the man and dog in my dream – weird but cool.
But enough about my psychedelic trips, there’s a whole day to write about. Today we visited the Vetrofond glass factory! Well we all had to meet at the Museo vaporetto stop to catch the Alilaguna boat to Marco Polo Airport. (The vaporettos are the boats that take you around Murano, Venice and all the little islands. The Alilaguna is the convenient airport boat that takes you to Venice and Murano.) Quinton managed to herd us onto the vaporetto and then into a coffee shop once we arrived at the airport. We managed to fluster the barista with a massive order of coffees which is hard to do to Italian baristas. We sat on our coffees until Laura, the sales manager for Verofond arrived. She organised Quinton’s van and another car to take us all to the factory.
By now we’re all getting abit excited as we were about to see the birth place of Vetrfond glass and odd lots. (Insert girly squealing here.) Arriving at the factory, we all piled in to one of the offices for introductions and a few rules for safety by Laura. One of the rules is no photos to be taken inside the factory. Then we moved in a tight group around the factory floor which is interesting but it has nothing to do with glass rods. Woah, it’s warm, and there’s hot furnace’s burning, men with rods of hot glass swinging around us, loud machines and hot kilns. I’m nervous for my jacket, but they all are working in synchronisation. So as long as we don’t swing our arms around then we’re okay. The factory’s biggest product is light shades – they’re number one in Italy. Glass rod making is a small part of their business.
The glass masters and assistants were checking us out. Apparently we’re the first lot of students taken through the place – ever – so we are new to them. Plus we’re all females, of course. Italian factory workers do the same as any all-male factory’s do – they put up girly pin-ups on the walls. And we saw someone’s collection of cans of international beers.
Laura takes us around to see the big kiln, the glass cutting areas, the shed where all the colour materials are, and finally we arrive at where they make our glass rods. Unfortunately they weren’t running as normal due to maintenance. But we got to see the 2 pots – one for regular colours and the other for odd colours. We got to see loads of clear rods stacked at the end of the run. That must have been the last lot they did before closing the machines. We are then taken to the store room for the cut glass rods and we go crazy. We’re allowed to take photos in here so flash bulbs are popping everywhere. We’re all eyeing off the colours, touching the glass, licking the glass, photographing the glass…bascially squealing like little girls. We spot a couple of “odd” shades in there too.
After about 20 minutes we have all calmed down and composed ourselves. Laura then walks us back to the offices. On the way we watch a master making horses. It takes him 55 seconds from start to finish to make one. Very impressive. Back at the office we get to meet Mr Moretti – a busy man of few words. We’re then off to lunch, paid for by Vetronfond. It was a nice local restaurant full of people. I ordered a pizza. Actually their menu was great, and the menu of the day was pretty cheap. There was something like 5 or 6 pages for their pizza menu – the vegetarian option was at least one page long.
We had a nice time chatting with Laura. After lunch we piled back into the cars and headed back to Murano again. We were all chatty and bouncy on the Alilaguna, we’re all buzzing from the tour. Back on Murano, we 3 Sharon, Marianne and I, go hunt down Carlo Dona’s shop. Carlo Dona is a tool shop now being run by his son Roberto Dona. We don’t find it but manage to see Andrea Guibelli’s shop again. Sharon hadn’t seen Andrea work so we stop in there and watch him blow a bead. We ask him for directions to Carlo Dona’s shop. So finally we get to Carlo Dona’s….oh and it’s bad. So bad – because we spent alot of money there!!! Oh that place is amazing. We buy blow tubes for making hollows, glass scissors, mashers, pincers, tweezers, rod warmers…. Oh holy crap our luggage is going to be heavy!
So after the tool shop, we dash back to the studio to try out our new tools! When everyone saw our tools, they all asked for directions back to the store! Roberto Dona is going to be busy the next 2 weeks, for sure 🙂