FARAL Red Owl Sculpture by DIPI
The owl has traditionally been the symbol of wisdom, a precious good luck charm, due to this bird's ability to see through darkness, to see when others can't. By tradition, it is also one of Murano's favourite subjects, and it has inevitably become a classic. This is an entirely handmade sculpture, which features a composition of murrine, gold leaf and red glass.
These three elements are the perfect symbol of Murano glass: murrina, or rather, small sections of murrino glass canes, are perhaps the most distinctive feature of this Venetian art; pure gold leaf, which brightens and embellishes the composition; and red glass, the most rare and difficult colour to prepare in the traditional furnace, the colour of the city of Venice.
This traditional bird is spiced up by a touch of fun: its backside will certainly make you smile, with its wings and tiny tail pointed upwards.
The essential design of the lines of this sculpture make it the perfect meeting point of modern and traditional, a great fit for any decor style.
As these sculptures are entirely handmade, one by one, the unique composition of murrine or other small details can never be identical, and may not correspond exactly to the item depicted. The beauty of this sculpture is precisely in its uniqueness, in the master glassmaker's artistic energy, a moment frozen in glass.
DIPI Sas Vetreria Artigiana di Sara Rossi
Sas Di Pi Vetreria Artigiana di Sara Rossi At the heart of glass-working furnace DiPi in Murano is the master, Imperio Rossi.
Born in Murano in 1951, he started working alongside his father at the age of 13, and after a long apprenticeship in the most renowned furnaces of Murano, he became a master glassmaker himself.
He has owned his own furnace since 1986, initially specializing in production of objects with “millefiori” murrine. Imperio Rossi says of his job: "I often can't wait to render a drawing into a piece of work. It's an irrepressible desire to give tangibility to my imagination. I'm in love with my craft, because it allows me the chance to give shape and substance to something that rises inside me." His work is displayed in private and public collections in New York, Madrid, Vienna, Tokyo.
"MURRINO" GLASS or HOT-WORKED MOSAIC
The hot-worked glass mosaic is based upon glass canes; they are produced in very few furnaces, due to the complexity of its manufacturing.
The master picks up a cylindrical mass of molten glass (the "paston") with the cane-making rod, and joins it to a smaller blob (the "conzaura") attached to a short rod. He then hands over one of the rods to his assistant, then they slowly walk away from each other lengthening the glass rope.
As the glass quickly cools, they carefully set down the hardened cane onto rough wooden boards on the floor. The evenness of the cane depends exclusively on the superior craftsmanship of the master. A special type of cane is called "millefiori"; it is a hollow or solid cane composed of concentric multicoloured layers which, in cross-section, form a typical star- or flower-shaped pattern.
These canes are produced by filling open moulds in succession, creating each pattern by layers of different-coloured glass. The finished cane is used by cutting into small segments and arranged onto a horizontal metallic plate, coated with purified lagoon-marsh mud -- this is the only substance able to isolate melting glass from metal. The arrangement is melted inside an oven and picked up for further processing, usually blowing and shaping with tongs. It is this initial procedure that determines the pattern and size of the object, whether one uses solid canes, geometric plates, filigree or aventurine, and creates an infinite variety of unique products.
GOLD OR SILVER LEAF
Precious metal leaves are extremely thin sheets of metal, usually made of pure gold or silver. In glassmaking, the imperceptibly light leaves need to be kept in a sheltered area of the furnace workshop, as even a breath might blow them away.
The gold or silver leaf is gently arranged on a flat surface by the master, who then rolls the incandescent blob over the leaf to pick it up; the metal leaf adheres perfectly to the surface of the glass, which is now ready to be blown. Upon blowing, the sheet of precious metal splits to spread over the entire surface of the glass object.
The final product therefore appears to be covered in a fine gold or silver dust.