Colors from another century

In Designs, Travels and events by Roger Thomas

Our very dear friend Sandrina Rubelli took Arthur and I on a magical excursion in the remotest part of Canaregio to meet Ricardo Bizzaza and to see his remarkable project, Orsoni mosaics of Venice.

Since showing its remarkable range of colors at the 1895 Paris exposition, they have supplied artists with literally all the colors of the rainbow for achieving the very finest in the mosaic arts.

It is the only operating furnace in Venice, all the others having been banished to the island of Murano hundreds of years ago to avoid the possibility of fire in the precious city.

Today, in addition to the veritable rainbow of colors they offer 20 shades of precious gold and well over 100 shades of skin tone.

Large ceramic vessels used for melting the glass in the furnace line the gardens.

The room holding the sheets of glass is vast, color stretching floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall surrounding the artisans that cut each individual tessera by hand, sized by eye.

Truly a visit to another century.