23 October 2011

Murano glass

About 20 minutes by fifty seater boat from Venezia is an island called Murano. They have made glass there for centuries to avoid the risk of setting fire to Venice itself.

We saw a short demo where a 72 year old made a beautiful vase in five minutes and a dancing horse in two minutes. 1200 degree Celsius furnace. I wondered if they used it to heat up their lunch. The guy who talked us through these artistic labours was louche as Flash Harry.

Canberra has a glassworks too with the same type of furnace, but at their demo they spent half an hour faddling one big lump of glass.

After the veteran artisan finished, Harry took us to the showroom, a three floor mezzanine with eight rooms. There were masive unique pieces with price tags fit for oil-well owners.

On the boat in I had seen a whole row of smaller showrooms along the waterfront so I was never going to waste an hour in one spot as we were encouraged to do. I found all these tiny glass creatures in three different shops instead, which must be better for the local traders.

Shot in my garden.

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