Colour and Glass at Orsoni Furnace

An Artisan’s view
Michele Giuman, Master of Colour at Orsoni

Orsoni’s mosaic ‘tesserae’ (tiles) have a glowing artisanal heritage dating back to 1888, with Angelo Orsoni’s revolutionary colour palette and technical genius. From a brilliant display at the Great Exhibition in Paris to Gaudì’s world famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Orsoni well deserve their reputation as a blazing beacon of Venetian artisanal spirit and artistic magnificence. Boasting the last operational furnace in Venice, Orsoni looks ahead to a future as brilliant, pure and magical as the mosaics themselves.

An Artisan’s view
Marino Menegazzo, Goldbeater at Mario Berta Battiloro

What is the most satisfying part of your craft?

The most satisfying aspect of my job is the process of creating colours. Crafting and developing the exact perfect shade all the way through using oxides and other processes.

Is mosaic making linked to Venice?

Of course! In the past the furnaces were all in Venice, then they moved to Murano, because the houses could be set on fire. It is a great source of pride that the furnace we have here at Orsoni is the only one left in Venice.

How did you become a Master of Colour?

Before learning to work with glass I was a greengrocer! I came to work here at Orsoni in 2000 by chance and learned here with the help of Stefano Giambino, the previous Master of Colour. I had always liked the profession of glass, and becoming a Master of Colour was the proudest moment of my career.

An Artisan’s view
Manuela Bonicelli, Mosaic Artist at Orsoni

What do you enjoy about being an artisan at Orsoni?

The camaraderie here at Orsoni allows me to always encourage my fellow artisans to give their best. Everyone is constantly striving to improve. Being able to create exactly what I see in my mind’s eye gives me immense pride. I don’t know what I would have been if not a Mosaic Artist, it is the perfect fit for me. In my opinion artisans will always be important because we have the unique ability to realise the dreams of our clients.

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