Archive for the ‘General news’ Category

Sneak Peak – planning alert…. ;-)..

Friday, June 7th, 2013

for those of you out there in glassland still following this blog… we’re up to something…. ;-)…

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

okay guys, things are firming up (a little anyway)…

looks like late May early June is the time – I’ll try to nail these down closer to the time, in any event I need to meet with Laura and Mr Moretti in the next few days and check out venues etc.. we’ll be looking at making a range of new glass (completely new – not just new colours) available for this event.. and also tying up with a few more Muranese artists and their studios..

one of the requests i had last time was for link ups to other classes with guys like Luccio Bubacco – and i will speak to as many as i can when i am down there.. this is great for us, as we want to widen the scope of the event beyond just bead making this time! πŸ˜‰


Friday, September 26th, 2008

looks like we’re going back everyone!….

may 2009 – be here or miss out on more madness and magic in murano.. more info will be posted on here as it all happens – so email me any requests now before everyone’s class schedule gets too crazy!..


now this is what i call a blog!!!!!…. check it out!!…. NOW!!!!!

Sunday, April 13th, 2008


all done, and back home at last!…. WOW!!!

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

what can i say, we have done it, we’re alive and everyone slept in a bed…. which is just about all i could have hoped for when planning an event like this on an island 1000miles from home, and 1 hour away from a harbour!.. ;-)… naturally, there are those who slept in MANY beds, even different beds every night for the first few days as we played “musical apartments” to try and get everyone into accommodation that suited and matched their bookings – a task i completely underestimated in complexity terms!.. my thank to those affected, and the humour they showed with every new “move”….

the event itself has been quite the most bewitching and spellbinding thing i have ever experienced, the special magic that murano casts created an awesome environment where a fabulous combination of glass lunatics met, drank, ate, slept and made glass things way into the wee hours every night – a place where friendships where made and great experinces just “happened”… there were times when i had to pinch myself looking round the studio and seeing jon, pati, di, sarah, corina, mike, davide, diego, luccio and luigi all standing around chatting, torchering and generally having a good time – you could never “organise” these things – they just happen in the right place and time and we had such good fortune to be in such a place..

a few words of thanks must go to griet – my rock and also co-organiser for the careful thought and packing in getting everything ready for the event, loaded into the van and making sure i had enough of just about everything under the sun.. thanks also to the team at vetrofond, especially laura, for their support and assistance in the smallest (and largest) things – and mr moretti for personally hijacking a boat full of oxygen cylinders just as disaster beckoned!!.. he really, REALLY is the “man who can”!!…

my thanks too to the teachers and their teaching assistants, for getting there, doing their thing and being so amazingly professional – it is an organisors dream to have had you guys – you ROCK!!!..

and finally, my thanks to all of you who came – you cannot imagine how awesome it is for us to have you all, having a good time, making brillinat work and all just having fun.. to those who braved the first (wet and wild) week – my special thanks.. there were days when i doubted my sanity, and the weather forecasters!.. when the floods and gales receeded everyone just shrugged it off, and got on with the serious business of having a great time!..

sarah has agreed to revamp this whole blog for me, adding pics and threads to make it all make more sense, and to provide a central resource for everyone to dip back into with their thoughts and memories… i hope she will tackle this one for me and transform this rather rambling thread into the epitomy of coolness and graphical excellence!!!… i will be opening a flickr account to host my pics, and hopefully i will be able to creat a links thread on here to link to all the brilliant libraries already up there and filled with great pics and memories.. i may never be able to order creme brulee again, but boy – what a night!!! πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

hi everyone, time for a quick update i think!… griet and i have been working like crazy toΒ  get the first classes running smoothly and with the thousand and 2 things you need to arrange here on murano to hold classes!… πŸ˜‰

the support from vetrofond and everyone else has been brilliant, and our first factory tour yesterday was such a highlight that i am literally sifting through hundreds of pics to try and post some that give just a taste of the fund we had.. one of the collest things was watching a guy make a “ferrari” style rearing horse from a punty of clear in 55 seconds, start to finish – and just keep making them… he had a box full and was just cranking them out, while smoking a cigarette and smiling at the ladies taking his picture…

diana’s classes were just awesome, and she also spent a few days int he studio just ehlping people, making beads and generally being the great ambassoder she always is.. she is walking mile’s every day – but is looking great, eating like a horse and wearing more layers than shrek and his “onion” analogy!! πŸ˜‰

pati is teaching from today, and her and jon gave a quick demo a few days ago when they popped into the studio – i am just speechless about how much skill it takes to walk into a studio, sit down and make world class art just like that… they are both wanting to come to teach in belgium too – so we will be having boro AND soft glass classes next!…

we have seen mike and corina around this morning – so they are out and about.. i think diana has gone with them to visit some of the studio’s today so i’ll get some feedback on that later.. avril and co have been buying carlo donna out of his stocks and are planning another raid later – and we just have tons of things that seem to spontaneously “happne” when you have a great group of bead makers hanging out in the home of glass – you couldn’t plan for these things if you tried!!

sarah and indie are flying in as i type this, and loads more of you are due in the next week or so – so here’s to fun in the sun, and more glassy goings on!

time to haul ass, and head on down!!!

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

hi guys,

the van is packed, the spine has been cracked, everything not nailed down has been loaded and i am on my way!… i will be leaving tomorrow morning (Sunday) for the 12 hour drive down to vetrofond, and on Monday afternoon i will be loading a few pallets of kit onto my boat and heading out to the studio for set up!.. i am not looking forward to the miles of driving – but i am incredibly excited to finally be heading on down to setup onsite..

Laura from vetrofond has been getting the studio space sorted out for us – now we are taking all he kit down there and the loading list is impressive!.. i am taking 14 torches, 9 creation stations, all the chairs, desks and tools we need – plus 3 desks, 2 laptops, 2 kilns and a partridge in a pear tree…

practically speaking – i will be sleeping on the island from Monday night, and will be staying in the studio until it is all setup and then hopefully luigi has been able to find one last apartment for me!!.. my email will be up and running from Monday night again… and is obviously one way of getting hold of me.. we will still be manning the landline at our Belgian studio and my mobile number on murano…

please can everyone email me their arrival details, and contact info, and i will do my level best to meet all incoming guests at the airport.. if i have a mobile for each person i can text them to confirm if i am there or not – but on some days there may just be too much happening or arrival times may clash with course start times.. i will make a nice sign, and wave it like mad!,,

failing that, from Marco polo airport please simply take the alilaguna RED line and hop off at museo on murano, if coming in from treviso please take the DM line from the piazza roma and hop off at murano (any stop will do – it aint a big place!)…

i am online until about 9am Sunday, and after than on the mobile as i trek down the width of Europe for the lagoon!!!

i am VERY pumped – it is going to be a LOT of fun!!!!!

cheers, and “Sizobonana!” – remember, i am a south African!!!


Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

for all you carlo dona tool fans!!!

I spoke with DonΓ  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 amΒ  and 2 to 6 p.m.



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..Β  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 πŸ™‚ )

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!!Β  Anyone else as pshyched as me?!!!!