You've seen them. Glasses in saturated colors, vases in curvy shapes, oversized chandeliers that resemble deep sea animals, and fancy, multicolored jewelry and sculptures.
This is the world of Murano glass, so sought after by interior architects the world over and coming with quite a price tag, that it is often imitated elsewhere and then sold falsely under the Murano name.
I was sent on assignment for Coastal Living Magazine to this tiny island off of Venice, to spend some time on Murano and to find answers to a burning question: Is glass making there still thriving?
Visiting Massimiliano Schiavon, one of the traditional glass makers, I treated myself to a sweaty afternoon with the artists and photographed at somewhere around 45°C (115°F) temperatures near the big oven, with sweat dripping from my forehead. Tiny chunks of red-hot glass flew around me at times, as I was allowed to get as close as a photographer dreams of getting.
But let's meet Claudio, an artist glass maker who is going to walk us through the process of making a vase by hand. If you thought that the perfectly symmetrical and harmonious objects are made with some kind of positioning aids, think again. All done with their proper hands and tools only. As with all forms of art, there is a technique and practice makes perfect.