September in Venice is always a great time as usually the weather is slightly cooler and there are fewer tourist and best of all it is Venice Glass Week. TheVeniceGlassWeek is an international festival dedicated to celebrating, supporting and promoting the art of glassmaking – the artistic and economic activity for which the Venice and Murano have been celebrated around the world for over 1000 years.
This year there were 150 locations with 180 events which included Murano, Venice and even some exhibits in terrafirma (mainland) Mestre. I could only get to a few of them as the days are packed. And I focused my attention mainly to Murano. For me it is about the furnaces, going to a gallery is not my thing. But put me in front of a furnace with the blazing heat and the delicately choreographed dance of the glass blowers and their assistants….well that’s my calling.
Just watching these talented guys who make it look so easy. They were making these fanciful decorative designs and getting ready for the Boca del fuoco (Mouth of the fire) run on Saturday night.
My favorite was the artwork in the Effetre Glass Furnace. Effetre is the producer of all our canes from which our beads are made. It is steeped in history, cloaked in secrecy and few outsiders ever get inside. And even with this tour by invitation, their secrets remain just that. It was the collaboration between 14 companies from Murano and 8 street artists, who were invited to complete a series of murals inside the Effetre Murano furnace using the furnace walls, the walkways and some unused old furnace areas as their canvas. The exhibits incorporated multi media always with pieces of Murano Glass. The following are taken at this exhibit, though my favorite one was hidden on the side of a wall and is in black and white. The large mosaic earring was made by Andrea at the furnace. (See the picture of the lady below.)
Here’s a short clip I made in the furnace. The constant noise you hear is the sound of a nearby furnace, a comforting sound to all on Murano. It means all is well, there is work for the blowers. And I love sleeping to this sound.