Thursday, January 21, 2010

Orsoni Day 4.

Have you ever wondered what happened to all the fur coats in the world? Remember Bridget Bardot's animal anti-cruelty campaigns in the 60's? Calling for the banning of animal pelts for fashion indulgence purposes. Clubbing of baby seals and blood covered fur etc etc.? Suddenly all those unbelievably expensive warm coats disappeared from womens wardrobes. Even my Bobba was not allowed to wear hers anymore. (poor little minks, or whatever those soft brown things were that had to suffer and die to help her feel glamorous.) Whatever happened to all those fur coats?

Well I've found them. The fur coats. They're all here in Venice. And women are wearing them. And they don't even look guilty or the least little bit shy about that fact. Granted, most of the women wearing these things are as old as my Bobba, but dressed in fur they are. And most of them (the coats that is) are the genuine skins of little animals. Foxes, minks, squirrels... what other poor creatures were bred for their fur?

It's just one of those things about Italy. And perhaps particularly about Venice. Style, class, pizazz, fashion statements, good good quality. Hats, handbags and boots folks. Boots like you cannot imagine. And shoes! Shoes and gloves. Leather gloves. Fur gloves. Fur hats. And I kid you not. Fur coats. I'm even pretty sure I saw someone wearing my Bobba's old fur coat on the water taxi today.

If you come to Venice. Be prepared to dress well. It's classy here.
It's Italy after all.

We spent the morning in the studio working away like drones on our pieces. And of course, as if I didn't see it coming, it was my turn to undo a section of my mosaic and rework it. But I learned well from the experience, and I'm much happier with the outcome. I wonder how many times in my life I'm going to have to learn this particular lesson. "Trust yourself Mel. You've got first class intuition." Believe me, this was not the first time. But well, I always enjoy the outcome of the lesson, so I'm not complaining.

I took a quick trip down to the 'gold' room and the place in which they keep all the sample colours. I went with Antonella to select some special pieces for the next section of my work. Antonella is a wonderful teacher. She takes time to look into the minutest detail of ones work, has amazing direction, and absolutely nothing is too much trouble for her. She'll run out countless times to go find a particular colour or piece that will help one in the work.

Guess what!! The magnificent plates of red smalti that brought me to tears on Day 1? You guessed. I've got some prime chunks of that. AND... I'm using them plate side UP! So I get all the effect of the mixing and swirling of heat and glass. Perfecto! Molto perfecto.

At 1pm we trooped down to the canal, popped into the bakery to buy a sandwich, and then with Mirta leading us like Mother Goose followed by her sandwich munching, pastry crunching goslings, we boarded the water taxi heading for St Marco Square.

Mirta gave us an excellent tour of the Basillica of St Marco. Humungous magnificent building. Fortunately not too many people so we could spend quality time with the mosaic work. Really really impressive. I'm so happy I finally got to see it all. The information we received was just perfect. Enough. Not too much.

The water taxi back went down the Grand Canal. Beautiful journey. Glorious buildings lining the canal all the way back. Sometimes in Venice, what looks like an old disused building turns out to house a fancy home or business behind the seemingly seedy exterior. But on the Grand Canal, everything looks palatial and in good condition.

Stopping only for my third bag of hot roasted chestnut and some clementines on the street, we arrived back at Orsoni around 5pm. Naturally we all headed straight for the studio again and began pounding away.
I stopped for a short time around 8. Scoffed down my slice of left-over pizza from last night and a bite size bar-one I found in my bag, thanks to KLM. Not the most healthy dinner, but hell, I'm a student. And isn't this the way students eat? And they survive. So?

I'm starting to work with the red glass. I've still got some fiddly bits to finish in blues and greens, but the red is calling me.
And....... you guessed it again. My bed is calling me too.


PS. Pic above are, L to R, Dominique (Belguim), Mel (South Africa - YaY), Nancy (USA) and Mirta. At St Marco
Mel and the 4 famous horses.
My work station tonight. 22h30.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

MEL...what an adventure for you. I sense from your writing the aliveness that has come forth from somewhere deep inside of you. Not that you aren't always full of life...but now you are in your element and surrounded by what you love..GLASS. How can you sleep? I would be going till I drop...but I know you need the rest for sure to be able to complete the amazing piece you are on....carry on wild dancing woman and watch out for those hot Italian men...they can make you loose your mind..PERFECTO!!!!!!