Archive for February, 2008

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

for all you carlo dona tool fans!!!

I spoke with Donà and he confirm me that you can go directly in the factory to buy what you need.

Is like a shop you can buy what they have available…. they are open from Monday to Friday from 8-12 am  and 2 to 6 p.m.



Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

hi guys – this is a quick update to the accommodation page, i have made direct contact with Luigi in the states and am sorting out apartments.. i hope to have a definitive list soon for those available – and will post that here as soon as i hear from him again.. he has asked me to act as the local organiser, as he is away – so i will have a list of available apartents and keys etc….

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Some really highly recommended hotels and B&B’s on Murano!!

tel: 041 739430

tel: 347/0833785

tel: 041/5275003

all are really good and i have checked them all out personally and can recommend them without reservation…. rates are good, rooms are very comfortable – and while as a south african i am used to bacon and eggs in the morning to clog my arteries and get my blood pressure up – they offer a continental breakfast!! 😉

Update – all in one place!!!!

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

hi guys, i have had plenty of feedback saying my rambling style is NOT HELPING people find information – so i am doing a general tidy up and summary in this post to give as mush info as i can in one place!


Beadmaking classes in our studio space on Murano, Venice – with classes by Alessia Fatone, Diana East, Pati Walton and Sarah Hornik.. Here is the latest schedule of dates and classes.. please note that we have a few open days and that at the moment we are discussing with Diana and Sarah who can offer filler courses for us!…


All classes are Eu225 per day, all inclusive of glass, gas, lunch, snacks and drinks… Alessia Fatone’s classes are Eu105 per day as she is from Italy and is as close to a “local” artist as we have :-)… she has offered to keep her classes directed towards newer lampworkers, and to help those who are a little out of practice..


we have been working very closely with Vetrofond and they have given us full factory support – including offering to arrange factory visits which will allow visitors to see “behind the scenes” working practices and the glassy alchemy that goes into the fabulous glass works you see in all the best designer lamps!.. with any luck at all we will also be able to see the latest vetro odds being pulled – literally hot off the presses – just please note NO CAMERA’S ALLOWED, anyone caught taking pictures will be fed to the glory hole! ;-)!!! Even better – Vetrofond will treat us to a light lunch, how cool is that?.. not only that – but we are also working with Vetrofond to have a full on “cheese and wine” party to wrap everything up – the initial date is the 6th, we suspect there may be one or two more in between!!!


i am working with vetrofond and local apartment owners to make self catering apartments available to those who are looking for somewhere to stay.. a number of you have emailed me offering to share to help with company and to keep costs down – so please post on here in the accommodation thread if you have somewhere you are happy to share, or are looking to share and what dates you are here?..


All visitors are highly recommend to get Venice Cards to help keep travel costs low and get access to great scenes and sights around the Venice lagoon..  there is the Lido (beach) the casino’, the museums, the lace on burano, etc etc etc…

Thursday, February 14th, 2008


Due to the demand – and in the interests of giving a really good show I have agreed a number of formal visits to the Vetrofond factory, where we will be allowed to see a number of processes and glass work that is normally NEVER on view to casual visitors (there normall are not ANY casual visitors anyway, but you know what I mean 🙂 )

These trips will run from the morning through lunch, which will be hosted by the factory team… I will be bringing my bus down to Venice loaded with kit, so have place for about 6-7 people per group, which is about all we can safely bring into the factory work space anyway.. these tours will be completely free – although we will need to catch the Alilaguna to the airport stop where we will meet up with the bus.. Please respect the factory teams request that no camera’s are allowed inside the factory – as a number of the machines and systems are custom designed and operated. Although Mr Moretti is happy to let us in to show of the factory and the glass masters who work there – he is sensitive to the commercial realities of the glass industry.

One thing that absolutely amazes me is the speed and choreographed moves of the glass masters and their teams – from the intial gather to the final piece is a incredible blend of heat, glass, delicacy of touch and pure unalloyed skill!

Dates are

20th March

25th March

27th March

31st Marc

4th April

And then – as a final blowout – Mr Moretti and Laura have offered to host us a Cheese and Wine farewell party after the end of Sarah’s alst GGG glass – to go out with a BANG!!  Anyone else as pshyched as me?!!!!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Today’s update will bring a bit more info and some tips and tricks for getting around – the most important being the “Venice Card” which is offered to visitors to the islands and is great value.. even if you only travel once daily on the the water buses the Venice card will end up saving you money and the hassle of trying to buy a ticket, sort out change etc etc etc.. I recommend it to all visitors – I will have one myself!…

I have also produced a more detailed info pdf for visitors and guests – to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions and to give a visual reference to the islands of Venice and Murano.. for further playing i also recommend trying out Google Earth – which is one of the “killer apps” you keep hearing about on the web!.. its free, its fast, its practically magic!!!

I will be posting links to the various B&B’s, apartments and Hotels i have been able to hunt down… these links will connect you to to companies we can recommend or to whom Vetrofond have checked out for us.. be aware that the demand for accommodation over the Easter weekend is extreme – so please do check out what is available and by all means email me to help if you need it.. Laura from Vetrofond will call anyone in Venice/Murano for us it you need someone who is fluent in Italian!

also, i was asked by some of our more distant visitors to bill them for the final payments before they started travelling all the way out her – i know that i would prefer to handle payments from my “home”, and hence secure, PC.. to try and stay on top of all the paperwork i have run through most of the payments – and i apologise if this has come a bit soon for some of our later guests.. please pay this closer to the time – but please also bear in mind that i have had to open waiting lists for some classes and thus most payments can be refunded at almost any time..

Aside from that, progress proceeds apace – with the technical people from Vetrofond building the work desk for me, plumbing it with sufficient gas points, replacing broken windows, organising fridges and sofa’s etc etc and any number of the million and one little thngs we are getting set up.. I will be shifting a few palletes worth of furniture, burners, kilns, plasma screens, projectors, poster, books, DVD’s etc etc etc in the next few weeks – to give the shippers time to run a boat over and deliver it all for me.. I may have to go down there AGAIN just to make sure things are going well!! 😉

Monday, February 11th, 2008

hi guys, i am sooooo blown away by everything we have seen and discussed it is going to take a while to get it all sorted out and down in something like coherent form!.. what we have found is an absolutely brilliant resource for all things venetian and muranese… check it out – especially the venice card and the season ticket for the boat busses – which can save a fortune over a few days and even more over a few weeks..

and on too the pics – i am trying to split the post – so here’s hoping it works!!


Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

i would like to open a seperate thread for all those willing or wanting to share space – for the company or for the fun, what a great way to take home the most brilliant memories and make new friends from all over the world!!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Excellent news today, after a lot of emails and calls i can confirm that Alessia Fatone has graciously agreed to a rate of only Eu105 per day for her classes, entirely due to the fact that she is effectively a local and as such her overheads are significantly lower than our out of country visitors!..

What this means is that we now have a full schedule from 5 well known and internationally experienced and featured teachers available in one place over the period of three gloriously busy weeks!!.. where else could you spend a 10 day period and have 5 seperate and uniquely different classes?.. this is going to be SUCH a ball… Griet and i will be down in murano this weekend doing a final check of the studio space and speaking to the apartment owners to come to an agreement over housing for us all.. we will also be meeting with the team at the Vetrofond factory, and there are some very VERY excitng ideas being thrown around which may make this the most exciting trip we have EVER planned!…

Thanks to the phenomenal response recently we are starting to close out some of the classes and are now running a waiting list for some days.. this waiting list is strictly first come first served – and i will not accept any payments or deposits from people on this list unless i can confirm a place for them!..  if the demand becomes to great i may have to revise the length of time we are down there – or formalise some late night owl sessions to ensure our visitors all get every opportunity to meet with their preffered teachers, and see the magic on Murano!..

Friday, February 1st, 2008

it had to happen i guess!!

SOLD OUT – Sarah H, Silver class

LOL 😉 congratulations to Martina for nabbing the last place on the class of the 5th!.. the others are filling up quickly now as word spreads around the world..

please let me know if there are any forums you think i should update our information on, at the moment we are listed on everyones websites, LE, frit happens in the uk and GBUK in the uk.. i know there was a thread posted in france, and in germany – so we are getting the word out there..

We will be in Murano next week to take final pictures, measurements and sort out our links with the local accommodation.. Mr Moretti is also going to look at doing some special glass for us – which is going to be really COOL!.. i have been thinking about videoing the whole three weeks – and editing a DVD for participants?.. what does everyone think?  i would also like to do some t-shirts and stuff like that, something like “my mom went to murano for a fabulous glass glass and all i got was this lousy t-shirt” kind thing.. 😉 i am also soooooo tempted to do a “glass junkie” range!…