Today was the first day of class with Emilio Santini. He's from a long line of glassworkers from the Venice and Murano area. He brought along his teaching assistant, Alex.
Class was great. He has a slightly different style than Lucio and it was good to see them both. My friends Lori and Paul from the Boston Chapter came to the studio. They aren't taking the class; they just happened to be here at the same time as the classes. They also know Emilio well, so it was somewhat of a reunion. I left class at 6:00, after the demonstration of pulling points in soft glass. It looked too hard to try at the end of the day. For dinner we took the vaporetto into Venice and ate at a lagoon-side restaurant which was very good.
Speaking of eating, we have been trying hard to try new things this vacation. Some of the more unusual foods we've been eating are cuttlefish, sea snails, eel, goose, sardines in saor, along with the more usual things such as clams, mussels and sole. It's fun to ask what the waiter recommends or what is the specialty of the restaurant and try that.
Day 9, Tuesday
We started the day at the Venetian mirror factory. We weren't there long, as the man who was to show us around didn't come to work that day, but we did get to see the end products. They are very beautiful and ornate. A little too fancy for my house, I think. I really did like them, though.
In class in the afternoon, Emilio's sister Lucia came and gave us a demonstration of how she gilds glass with gold leaf. She uses a turpentine-flux mixture, paints the design, then applies the leaf, scrapes off the excess and fires it on. It becomes permanent. She is very talented.
After class we saw a demonstration of 'batuto' which means 'beaten'. It's an engraving process where the glass ends up with a look that metal gets when it's hammered. This is master engraver Luigi Camozzo at work.
For dinner, Robert went into Venice to a pizza parlor and got take out pizza for us. I had a 4-cheese which I didn't like because it had gorgonzola on it. Who knew I wouldn't like bleu cheese on pizza? I thought I liked cheese on everything, but I guess not.
One of the main things we like about Europe is all the dogs. I haven't seen a BT yet, and I hope I don't because I'm not sure I could resist greeting it. This is a little dog we saw, bringing someone the newspaper.
Day 10, Wednesday
Today was our last day of class. We used blowpipes to blow hollow beads and vessels, or in my case, shards. :) It was fun and I plan to do some more at home. I spent a lot of time watching Emilio work. I think you absorb a lot just by watching. I did practice some, but I felt I wanted to see more than do more.
After class we had a party to celebrate. Everyone brought something good to eat. I didn't want to cook, so we brought a meat and cheese platter from the deli. We left around 10:00, because we had to pack up and get ready to move to Venice.
Day 11, Thursday
We finished packing this morning and went out to breakfast. We had due cappuccini and a couple of bready-type things. Then we met at the vaporetto and took it into Venice for a tour of the Orsoni mosaic works. It was incredible.
Tomorrow I'll talk about leaving our apartment, getting to Venice and our hotel.