Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A wonderful Christmas present a little bit early - a taste of Murano

Yesterday my husband gave me a wonderful Christmas present which he wanted me to participate in.  After the Memorial Service for my friend, he directed me where to drive - to JoMoCo Studio, a stained glass store where a woman named Judy Coleman works.  We had seen her work at Gallery at the Unitarian Church in October and had loved it.  Chris was prescient enough to get her card and to remember it come Christmas shopping time!  His gift to me is a commissioned piece of stained glass!

First of all, glass is my all-time favorite medium!  I absolutely love how light shines through it.  When I go to Europe, Venice, specifically the glass blowing island of Murano, is my favorite place to go. These pictures are of a glass tree that was in a square in the town as well as a close up of that tree.  Can you imagine what would happen if a strong wind came along??!

I could watch the glass blowers ply their craft the entire day without ever getting weary!  Here's a picture of one which I got off the web.

The other pictures are from around the town.  I love Venice so much!  I would love to live there and spend all my time going from artisan shop to artisan shop all day long.  I love how the ancient crafts are so respected and are still done.  On a given street, you can find someone making a mask for Carnival, then another person carving a picture frame by hand then applying the gilding.  Another person might be doing lampworking glass or painting a watercolor of the exceedingly beautiful streets.  The people were all very friendly and welcoming!  They were completely willing to talk to us about their crafts in fairly good English (unfortunately I don't know Italian).  I felt so comfortable there.  Each corner we turned, there was another gorgeous view to enrich our day.  The whole place felt like eye candy.

Hmmm...  I was talking about my Christmas present!

Knowing how much I love glass, Chris found the perfect gift for me!  I got to go to the shop and sift through Judy's stores of glass and images of works she'd previously made and choose goodies to go in a piece to hang in the window of my studio!  She was fine with my designing the piece too, but I love her aesthetic and the pieces she's made that I've seen, so I see no reason to stick my nose into that!  I told her what I love about what she does, told her I want lots of red in it, and asymmetry is fine with me, then asked her to let her intuition do the rest.  I'm excited to see what she comes up with!  That'll be a real treat for the new year!  I'll be sure to post a picture of it when it's done and hanging in my studio!

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