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Artisans of Venice, Italy – Part 2

We loved seeing the creative work from Artisans in Venice on our virtual ZOOM tour led by Luisella Romeo. It was intriguing to visit Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua, one of the most high-end fabric factories and suppliers in the world still weaving silk on HAND looms today! Our host, Jana Platina Phipps, aka Trim Queen, described the history of velvet and silk in Venice:

“At its height as a republic, Venice was the hub of international trade, a compulsory stop on The Silk Road for trading spices, scents and exotic fibers, connecting Asia to Europe. As part of the innovation of the time, Venetians learned to weave silk by perfecting the marriage of hand and machine –the loom – supplying velvet to the wealthiest of church and state”

It was fascinating to visit one of the oldest glass factories Barovier & Toso, active since 1295, where we saw tradition combined with contemporary design and creativity in its creation of Murano glass. Jana explained that the Island of Murano is a short 30 minute boat ride from San Marco Island. Murano island is home to the world-class artistry of glass blowing and has a distinct local flavor within the Venetian lagoon. We received an enchanting behind the scenes tour of the breathtaking glass chandeliers and lighting, and were educated about the history of sand to glass.

Another amazing tour was that of extraordinary textile artist Sarah Zanarella of Rugadoro at her atelier at San Polo. Sarah has invented a fabric and trim collage technique for mask making that has made her pieces collectible all over the world.  She recently expanded to larger scale works of textile art. Sarah is always working on a capolavoro (masterpiece) and we received and insider’s view of her latest creation.



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The common element throughout is good design. There’s always a reason why an element is chosen for a certain place, whether it’s a colorful painting in a room or a specific fabric on a chair. There’s also a functionality to every item that is unique to each project’s solution. It’s sort of like an oversized jigsaw puzzle with a place and reason for each piece.

“Your rooms are like a painting. Each component is a brushstroke to create the whole picture. It’s magic every time!”