Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ciao from Murano, Glass Art Capital of the World.

Dear Family & Friends,

One last report from Italy,,,,, for a while.
Monday we took a small boat ride to an island off the coast from Venice called Murano. This island is known for one thing, it’s artist glass manufacturing and artwork. Those of you that know us know that my wife Bonnie is an amazing glass artist so I am sure this was one of the high points of the trip. 
We went from glass gallery to glass gallery looking at different styles of glass art. We also got to go several glass studios and actually watch how they make these masterpieces..
Blown glass is an usual form of art in that the artist that gets the credit but does very little of the work and I am not sure even how much design work he does. He gives the craftsmen his basic ideas and concepts and they interpret them and make the actual art adding some of their own ideas. Seems like they should be getting more credit for the works.
There is a special type of glass for mosaics called SMALTE and is made on this island. Bonnie was so excited to find the source and stock up on materials for her future masterpieces… 
I enjoyed seeing the island and artwork but for me the real joy of the day was seeing my wife enjoy herself so much doing something she has such a passion for and is so good at… Good day.

A few thoughts about Venice now that I have been there.. First I of love the Italian style and passion for everything they do. No matter how trivial a part of life it is it is done with style!
The city of Venice is almost unreal. It looks like a movie set. When you look around and EVERYTHING is old and from another time it is hard to imagine you are standing in the 21st century in a living, functioning city.
As a car and motorcycle guy through and through I was surprised how much I enjoyed being in a city with NOTHING that rolls or moves other than walking or boats. It really makes a city far more livable and comfortable. It was nice knowing we could walk anywhere and everywhere…
I was talking to one young woman on the island of Murano about life there. She loved it. She was born and raised in Venice, which seemed unbelievable and married and moved to Murano. She extolled how wonderful family life was there.. She had children as young as 7 and never had to worry about them! They all roamed free all over the island in complete safety. They couldn’t get lost, everyone knew them, and they certainly couldn’t be kidnapped from the island because every boat operator knew them. You realize this is how people are meant to live.. Something in modern life in the USA has become so alienating and we pay for it in the breakdown of family values, ties and social structure that raises secure happy people…
One last observation.. I have always been told how rude the French are but have not really experienced it when in France…. In Italy, especially in these tourist towns god help you if you get in the way of a local. They will shove you out of the way, walk over you, or yell something in Italian that I am glad I do not understand..
Tuesday we boarded our cruise ship and to be honest after a week of solid site seeing and walking I am going to be glad for a couple of days at sea for some rest and relaxation.. 
My next report will be from Greece, I can hardly wait!


“Creative writer unrestrained by Daniel Webster”

Watching how it is actually made in a Murano glass studio..

I don't think Bonnie could be enjoying herself more... :)

Forming liquid glass into a leaf... amazing.

The art "CRITIC"

Here is the piece I wanted, beautiful glass parrots.. all the beauty, none  of the mess of a real bird...

Glass shops and art everywhere.!!

These are names of some of the glass studios that have been on this island for centuries making artistic glass.

OK I know this is tasteless, but since it is art from Murano I felt I should share it....If this artwork is based on reality then Italian men should be pretty proud of themselves..... ;)

Bonnie in her element,,,

You can find ANYTHING made in glass on this island..

The hand made wooden boats are gorgeous!! If you live in Venice or the outlying islands you don't drive a Ferrari or a Porsche, you own one of these...

Look at the date on this studio's sign. Did I mention they have been doing glass here for a while??

Even goofy glass art...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ciao from Venice!

Dear Family & Friends,

Saturday we sadly left our old and new friends in Milan and headed to Venice…. You may have heard that the Italians have a bit of a problem keeping the trains on time? Well we had a two hour train ride from Milan to Venice and we boarded right on time and still managed to be two hours late arriving in Venice! How do you make a two hour trip into four???
Saturday night we arrived in Venice tired but excited and met Bonnie’s sister and her husband there. They are now joining us for three days in Venice and then 12 days on our Mediterranean cruise…
We went out to dinner and walked around Venice on a warm picture perfect night.. Venice is so magical it almost looks like a movie set!
After a good meal, some wonderful Italian wine, and an evening walk we settled in for a good nights sleep.
The next morning I go up bright and early…. well 10:30am. Love the jet lag. I normally never sleep 10 hours, but here it is easy.
We took a water taxi over the Saint Marks Square and walked around endlessly and toured the Palace of Venice. All I can say is it is good to be the king.
One of the rooms in the palace gave me the inspiration for my next garage addition 
What do you think? Does it work or is it a bit over the top?

After a few hours at St. Marks we started to walk back wandering through many. many muses and paths taking in the city. I loved it, so much to see and photograph.
The city is so amazing I took a LOT of photos. Go to my blog to really see Venice, the best I could photograph it… I know I am no expert by any means but I took a class from a friend that is a professional photographer ( Check Jennings) and I think I am starting to see improvements. In just one class I learned so much about all the buttons and adjustments all over my camera that it is far more exciting to use. 
I also learned how to erase unwanted images on my photos so some of the scenes in the palace are not that empty, I just did a lot of erasing….
There is so much to tell and show please go to my blog for many more stories and photos… I hope after you see my stories and photos you will get a bit of the Venice experience!


“Creative writing unrestrained by Daniel Webster”!

The Krumholz sisters!

Can it look any more Venice that this??

This is some of the local wildlife... IT is amazing how tame they are. Taking her photo didn't scare her one bit... She even seemed to enjoy it!

These photos are St. Marks Sq. and Palace. Absolutely stunning where ever you look!

Happy, happy, happy...

Nice palace,,,, it is good to be the king..

This is my plan for retirement, to lay around half naked and be pampered from head to toe..

This is from the map room of the palace. Judging by the drawing they really had no idea where California was!

This guy's painting are EVERYWHERE in Italy!!

This is a very famous king from around 1500AC. Notice the wires coming from his ears? His name was Emperor Ipodeaous.. He actually invented portable music players in 1515! His hid his invention in the catacombs of Venice where they stayed for almost 450 years when in the 1930s an archeologist named Indian Jones discovered them. Unfortunately when he brought them back to the USA the government took them and hid them in a secret warehouse until the 1980s when Steve Jobs found them... Now you know the true story of the I-pod.

The Royal Chamber..its hard not to feel important when you are sitting at the head of the room here.

Amazing and beautiful had made guns. Even though they look the same they were all hand made and the parts were not interchangeable... I am not sure how accurate they were too..

My next garage / play room.

This is a living city, not just for display and people live and go about their daily business here.

An old man looking out over the city from his apartment. For him this is not a magical tourist town, it is just home. Lucky man!!

One this you start to notice about Venice is that there are NO cars, motorcycles, or bicycles. It if moves it either walks or rides in a boat.. Walking everywhere really makes you appreciate the city and feel more apart of it. A wonderful way to live.

A really classic Casino. We went into the ground floor but we could not go into the second story Casino without a jacket and tie... I would have loved to dress up and walk in there and just say.... "The name is Bond, James Bond."..