Saturday, January 23, 2010
Orsoni Days 5 & 6
It was kind of obvious that at some stage I'd fall over and have to sleep instead of sitting in bed writing blogs after working for 12 or 14 hours a day.
Just in case anyone was wondering, that's what happened on Friday night. I just fell over.
So, Friday went like this. Up at 07h00. Ignore alarm clock and headache for as long as possible. Crawl out of bed, open the bottle of headache pills that Nancy gave me yesterday, peer into the foreign bottle (American), cringe at the synthetic green colour of the pills, decide to wing it alone without the drugs, so breathe deeply and get on with abluting.
Breakfast at 8. Something I rarely do...eat so early in the morning. Muesli, tea (brought my own, 5 Roses ) and a crispy fresh pastry. Wrap up two slices of bread in a serviette for later. Wrap up the pastry too, as I can't face it so early. Headache abates. Must be the 5 Roses tea and the deep breathing.
I'm in the studio just before 9 and off I go. Cutting. Cutting, Cutting. Applying the morter. Standing back, looking. Discussing colour transitions with Antonella. Searching for new colours. Cutting cutting cutting. I get lost in the process. And I'm in a certain style of Happiness that I imagine Buddhist monks attain after many many years of deep meditation. This is my bliss. I hope I never have to sit for hours and hours in silent meditation with minimum food rations trying to get this merry. This mosaic stuff really works for me. Even the slow parts. The parts that don't feel sure. And the bits that have to be pulled out and reworked.
I'm not totally fond of the parts which hold me back from progressing. That state of fear and anxiety experienced by most artists just before they have to plunge into the creative pool. But I am gaining more trust with that familiar process, and moving through it quicker. Nancy and I have discussed this too.
I had my bread for lunch with a cup of tea. Then back to work.
In fact I wanted to continue working even after Antonelle and Mirta went home for the day at 5.30. But I'd kind of agreed to attend the Sabbath meal at the kosher restaurant down the road, and just a tiny part of me was curious as to how that would be. So I stayed at my work till around 6.30, hoping to miss all the evening prayers and chaos when the 'crowd' arrived from synagogue, and just rather arrive in time to go straight for the food.. (I know.., I'm mercenary. What can I say? )
What an experience!!
So there I was, in Venice. In a kosher restaurant. A Lubavich affair. That's seriously ultra-orthodox, for those who don't know. A fact I myself hardly know...
The place was packed. I really really could have been somewhere in Israel. Singing and shouting. More singing. A warm welcome from the rabbi host, squeezed into a little place at a long crowded table. Not sure what century I was in. The clothes made it look like hundreds of years ago, the hair do's and the male facial hair too. The singing and the noise made me think I was back at school.
Now listen to this....
I'm sitting at a crowded table, in the middle of Venice, attending a religious celebratory meal. The woman sitting next to me who is there with her husband and children, comes from Israel. Chit chat...,"where do you come from?"
Turns out we both attended the same school in Johannesburg!
What are the chances of such meetings?
Not that we turned out to have much more in common. And she was several years younger than me, so we didn't even have many shared memories. But still. What are the chances?
I survived the meal. Survived the food. Survived the 'kosher moffie' from Canada at my table. Survived all the prayers, singing, sermons and benching. I took my cue from the Israeli family and left straight after the meal. Shew! What a diverse and interesting experience to have had here.
I could not wait to get back to the studio. Worked till about 11 and then fell into bed.
Now, as I mentioned. Antonelle and Mirta and all the rest of the Orsoni staff have gone home. It's the weekend after all. We have no teaching or supervision over the weekend, but this is one driven little fivesome, and we're all planning to work the whole weekend.
Well, except for Saturday morning that is.
Nancy and myself got up at the usual time, breakfasted, and headed out to get the water taxi to go to the island of Murano. It's famous. And if you've been to Venice, everyone always asks if you've been to Murano. It's famous for glass of course. Blown glass, hot glass, fused glass, glass sculpture, glass beads, glass jewelry, every thing you could ever imagine in glass.
'Twas a lovely day to be sure. The water ride, the sunshine, walking about the island, meeting the brilliant designer and glass artist Davide Penso whose work I've seen before in one of my books. His necklaces are outstanding. I almost bought one or three, but managed to slap my hand and leave before I did. Umm..... not sure why? Oh yes! The price. Uff! Lots of money.
We visited the museum, in a stunning old building. Glass, glass and more glass. Old glass, ancient glass, modern glass and not so modern glass. History of glass, history of glass making and all that stuff that museums are made of. Good.
Bought some sandwiches, caught the water taxi home, and could not wait to get back to our mosaic work.
I did take a little siesta in the afternoon, and then worked until after midnight tonight. The pressure's on. All self inflicted of course. We're half way through the Master Class, and some of us want to go onto a second piece of work next week. So logically speaking, we should be finishing off with the first one by tomorrow.
I'm still convinced I'm going to do it. What do you think?
I'm going to stop this missive now and get to sleep so I can get up as early as possible and get back to work.
I'm having so much fun. Really!!
1. Murano today.
2. Our street entrance, go through the tunnel, turn left, then right, there's Orsoni.
3. My hammer and hardi tonight.
4. Horse Head Nebula, tonight.