Murano Glass

I am not a Murano glass expert. I’ve only been on the island once, for 3 hours; and I’ve spent half the day today going around Canaregio, looking glass wares with claims that they have been created in the island of Murano. There’s a difference – easily recognizable – between a glass product created in Murano by virtuoso Murano artists and a glass product created by copycats. A glass product created in Murano has the stamp “Murano Glass”. Going further, a glass product created in Murano by virtuoso Murano artists has a “Vetro Artistico Murano” sticker on it.

IMG_2142

A “Vetro Artistico Murano” sticker on a wine stopper purchased on Murano

“Vetro Artistico Murano” is a Murano trademark and certifies that a product has been made on the island of Murano using traditional artistic methods born and developed over a thousand years in the island of Murano. It is a proof of origin provided by the Veneto Region in compliance with the law 70, passed on December 1994.

The second identifiable difference is the quality and design of the product. The more cliché and gaudy-looking a product is, the less the probability that is created by a virtuoso Murano artist. Take for example these wine bottle covers that we bought. One is certified “Vetro Artistico Murano” while the other was just created in Murano. Both we bought on the island of Murano. The one created by a virtuoso artist cost 3 EURs more than the one that isn’t. Before putting your mouse over the photos below, can you identify which is which?

Notice that the design on the left is something you see everywhere. This Murano glass was not created by a certified Murano glass artist. The design is common and one you would probably find in a mall outside Italy. Nevertheless, my eyes are drawn to it. I liked it so I bought it. I knew though, when I bought it, that it may have not been made using traditional Murano glass techniques. And that is fine.

So, let me leave you with this. Just because something is cheap(er) does not mean it is worth the buy, especially if you’re particular with handiwork, design and quality. Choose well! Not everything that glitters is gold. But just because something isn’t certified, does not mean it’s not worth the buy either. Buy what makes you happy, it’s yours anyways. 😉

April 05, 2017 | Venice, Italy

Kiss the Bergen Rain

Here now in Bergen, where rain is rumored to fall 200 days a year. I arrived today from Copenhagen for an experimental conference that will run from tonight until Saturday night and currently staying at one of the cheaper conference hotel options; although most fellow participants I’ve talked to at the reception earlier have decided to stay at AirBNB places. THAT – ladies and gentlemen – is how pricey Norway is. It costs an arm and a leg!

This is my second time in Bergen. The first time I was here for a job interview. I flew from Hawai’i to Los Angeles to Copenhagen to Bergen, arrived at night, woke up early in the morning for a faculty meet-and-greet, presented my research after lunch, had dinner with the faculty after, went back to my hotel to sleep, woke up very early in the morning to fly to Copenhagen to Los Angeles to Hawai’i. I was exhaustipated! And I felt really bad that I did not get to see and explore the city. So now that I am back, I cannot wait to see where my feet will lead me; and which charming alleys I will get a chance to discover. But oh… if only the rain would stop!!!

Despite the heavy rains today, I did get to experience a bit of Bergen history. Our opening reception was at Håkon’s Hall, a 750 year-old medieval stone hall in Bergen. It was built by King Håkon Håkonssøn and was first used during Håkon’s son, Magnus, marriage on September 11 (yes, it’s really 9/11!), 1261. Reception drinks and a bit of finger food were served inside the hall. Acoustics were not as good as a I thought. In fact, I had trouble hearing what the person from a small table across me was saying. But it was a wonderful feeling to be in the presence of such history, to walk the same halls that royalty walked. It was surreal.

Tomorrow, the nerdy part of the conference commences, after a light lunch. I look forward to more interesting Bergen history, and to having more to say about the place in the future blog posts! And definitely, definitely looking forward to kissing the Bergen rain. 😉

August 31, 2016 | Bergen, Norway