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SEGUSO: The man, the glass, the poems

Glass-blowing is at least one thousand years old. The tradition of glass defines the island of Murano which lies across the canal from Venice. Glass, to me, is magic and fascinates me. It’s a substance that is indefinable really. A molten liquid which is blown by mouth, spun by hand, baked in a furnace until it becomes a solid. Yet it is a solid that is fragile, often transparent, and can be amongst the most exquisite, ethereal objects known. Giampaolo Seguso comes from a family who, for more than six hundred years has created glass. Born in Murano, his father Archimedes and his uncle Angelo were the creative force who preceeded Giampaolo. Giampaolo is a passionate creator of glass and, it turns out, of words.
I was honored to attend a reading of his poetry book, The Home of the Heartbeats, on May 9 at the Italian Cultural Institute in NYC. To my amazement, each poem has its own piece of glass with the poem etched on the object. Seguso read about fifteen poems from the book and the pieces were on display. He is as passionate about his words as he is about his craft. 9CD67A362219AC6817075A76F0724D35.jpg

My favorite poem and piece of glass is SNOW. Here is a line:
Later, by the stove, we crumble our minutes amid smiles, staring eyes and embraces.

Another is I ATE MANY CHERRIES which starts: I ate many cherries in my grandfather’s garden…
He not only ate cherries in the garden, he learned his craft generation after generation. It amazes me and leaves me in awe, jealous that he has always known who he is and what he could be. He spoke of seeing himself as one in a long line of relay runners, passing the torch, one to another.


Posted by teethetrav 10:49 Archived in Italy Tagged venice nyc murano italian_cultural_institute seguso_glass Comments (0)

Murano, Italy

Venetian Glass

I am obsessed with glass and glass-making. My favorite contemporary artist is Dale Chihuly from Seattle and I never miss a chance to see a piece by him or an exhibit in whatever city I’m in. In fact, I first encountered his work in a PBS documentary that was filmed in –where else?—Venice. This one-eyed genius was floating glass bubbles down the Grand Canal and trying not to get caught by the water police! DSC02350.jpg


Take the vaporetto (water bus) # 41 from San Daniele to Murano and plan to spend the day. Buy a packet of at least ten tickets if you are going to spend a few days. The glass museum is closed on Wednesdays. DSC02351.jpg Wander in and out of the show rooms and ask to see something special and they will take you to their back or upstairs which are museums in and of themselves. Some will offer you a factory tour. Although the hope is that you will make a purchase, it is fine to just be a tourist and take it the beauty of the craft. Although, I HAD to puchase this little jewel! DSC02363.jpg


In Venice, my personal favorite is Seguso glass, but there are many others who I appreciate for their beauty, such as Venini. And of course, because this is after all still Italy, stop for a bite along the water. I had this delicious piatto of seafood and a lovely of glass of wine.DSC02362.jpg

Posted by teethetrav 09:36 Archived in Italy Tagged venice italy glass italian murano Comments (0)

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