Good morning, my dear, fellow students! It has, obviously, reached your attention that I have recently visited the Murano Glass Factory in Galleria San Marco, in Venice, Italy. This trip was one of the finest I have ever been on for quite a while, as I got to witness the making of glass itself; basically, how it is made, how it is designed and how it is decorated. Are you already excited? Because I certainly am, as well, so let’s find out about all of the various events that happened there, and in what way.
First of all, it is quite very much common knowledge, the things that Venice is most well-known for: its waterways, which are as picturesque as Da Vinci’s own Mona Lisa; its bridges, which connect all of the 150 small islands in such a way that the overhead view would be like that of a web; its water taxis, which speed across the rivers faster than a bullet; and, of course, its gondolas, paddled through the narrow canals, being the very common places of love-making, romance and things very similar to that.
But, what you don’t know is that, along with all of this, Venice is also well-known for its glass factories, which have been practicing the art and craft of glass-blowing since 200 B.C. Yes, it really is as old as time itself, though not many of you would’ve known that. At the Galleria San Marco, you cannot help but be amazed; on the outside, it looks like nothing more than a mere store-front. And THEN, you enter the place, and you see some of the most beautiful stuff that our century could even be capable of producing.
Upon entering, the first thing that caught my sight – as well as the most obvious – was the crafters working their craft, very much like pure, true-born professionals: they really were that good. The center of all this glass-blowing, crafting and sculpting is, without a doubt, the furnace, which gives off such intense heat that even Sherkan would applaud it. Now, glass, when first created, is present in the form of a molten mixture, one consisting of potash, limestone, sand and soda ash, and is heated into molten form via heating it at over two-thousand degrees Fahrenheit; if that doesn’t surprise you, I don’t know what will; I think that an elephant coming down from an elevator most likely would.
A LOT of heating is involved in this; a blowpipe is heated while the molten glass is still sitting in the furnace, and is then used to take away a specific amount of glass from the furnace. In the process, a disco-ball of molten glass is formed on the end of the blowpipe used to take the glass from the furnace, so it is removed, and rolled over a marver, which, if you don’t know what it is, is a kind of flat sheet of thick steel. This gives a cool as a frozen Han Solo exterior layer to the glass, allowing the glass-piece to attain a fixed shape, after which the open end of the blowpipe is blown into, to create a molten glass-bubble and give the glass-piece its final, absolute, definitive shape.
Now, quite frankly, how can one talk about the sculpting of the glass-pieces, when they can’t also talk about their decorating? It’s just not possible, in any shape or form. So, without further ado, let me tell you about how these masters of the craft add impeccable detail to their creations: tweezers are used. Yes, you’re probably wondering, “How can a simple set of tweezers be used to obtain the decorations of the glass-pieces as we see them right now?” Well, tweezers, even just one set, have the ability to apply a very strong pulling force on an object. So strong, in fact, that it can pull the molten glass even further into the final shape desired, and hence further perfect the intended results.
As the glass cools, the shape becomes clearer than the story of a certain movie will ever be, resulting in a final color being obtained. However, the cooling surface also needs to be manipulated into a flat surface, so what need be used in such a case? A mechanism called a paddle, and after its successful use, the finalized glass-piece is obtained from the end of the blowpipe, and allowed to cool to its room temperature. In addition to all this, I even learnt about how specific colors may be obtained in the glass-pieces; in order to obtain a deep green hue, copper (an element) is added to it, and if a blue color is to be obtained, then varying amounts of copper are added to it, more for dark-blue, and less for light-blue. This gives the element of color to these glass-pieces.
And that so concludes my trip to this amazing glass factory, in which I managed to explore the art of glass-blowing, deliver eye-candy to my eyes in quite possibly the longest distance delivery service, and, most of all, have my heart absolutely enthralled by this amazing experience, every step of the way. I hope you guys enjoyed me talking about my trip as much as I did, for I now declare that this is the part where I say, “This is the end of the story I have shared, so live long and prosper!” Goodbye!