A vacation always inspires me to write, whether it is in my current WIP, or a travel article, it doesn’t really matter, the inspiration is there. This time I visited some of my favorite places in Europe, chief among them was a stay in Venice...and what a visit it was.
The concierge at the hotel was able to arrange a private visit to a Murano furnace, the Schiavon Art Team. I have seen a working furnace before that was geared toward the tourists straight off the boat or the ferry, as it were, and I have stopped in many Murano and Venetian glass stores. For the most part the pieces are pretty similar in the shops, but this furnace had some spectacular pieces of art. I also happen to love glass, and Murano is famous worldwide for their glass.
I was totally unprepared for the sheer beauty and originality of the work, contemporary glass art work that came to life when properly lit. I loved every piece I saw, they were not the common pieces sold everywhere you turned, but unique pieces with astounding colors and textures. Terrific variation of African baskets with dark reds, black and tan deep opaque colors that if not touched would pass for a woven basket. The work is sublime.
Not only was I able to watch a master glass blower at work, I was also allowed to take all the pictures I wanted. Starting with the furnaces, the annealing area, polishing room and the galleries. Truly a memorable experience.
Most were custom pieces ordered by individual clients and businesses, but there were many pieces for sale in the gallery upstairs, as well as a gallery down the street from the furnace that is open to the public.
It was a unique experience for me, because A Hotel in Venice is partially set in Murano and deals with the intrigues of blowing glass, age old secret formulas and lack of new talent. It takes many years to become a master blower, and it is incredibly hard work. Try blowing through a tube and shape a piece of molten glass. If it’s your first try, your face will turn beet red-the effort is tremendous-but the master blower makes it look effortless.
The visit was a most memorable and inspirational experience, one I will always cherish.
As a side note, Blood Art will be free this weekend on Amazon. I want to introduce my favorite vampire Nikolai Volkov. http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Art-Margot-Justes-ebook/dp/B00FWA8YMO
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