At first, Kundalini, chakras and glass all seemed to have their limitations but I discovered that with positive dedication to all three it is possible to combine the spiritual energy of the eastern philosophies of Kundalini and chakras with the magical features of glass during western glass production. East meets west, using the pure inner forces aroused through yoga, breathing exercises and meditation, combined with the skills of the glass maestro and the assistance of fire while blowing, bending, pulling and carving the fluidness of the temporarily melted mass of transparent or opaque glass into art, beyond expected parameters.
It has been a continual learning process for us all. We have gained an immense knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of glass while creating art with it as we adapted to Silvano’s artistic stubbornness and relied on his great knowledge of the traits of glass. He was patient with our abrupt changes of ideas as we became aware of new possibilities to enable us to produce beautiful sculptures using my drawings as a starting point. I will never forget when Silvano said to me in his English with Italian accent and a friendly twinkle in his eyes, “first you tell me, put on my swimming shorts, we go to the beach to swim. Then the next minute you tell me, we go snow skiing in the mountains!” A charmingly smooth balance is kept alive with regards to me pushing Silvano to the utmost limits of his abilities and the respect and appreciation he deserves for the incredible work he produces.
Silvano learned about the Kundalini and the seven chakra colours and how important it is that they are put into the sculptures in the correct sequence. He continues to amaze us with his artistic ability to create so many of our requests. One of the most intriguing sculptures to see being produced was ‘The Seven Bodies’. Through the process of iridescence, Silvano did a master job of creating the etheric bodies outside the main body. This is his favorite sculpture of this collection.
Exhausted but very satisfied and proud of what we create, it is a thrill to see each sculpture for a few seconds before they quickly disappear into the cooling oven for three to four days starting at 500 degrees Celsius. After that, they go to the polishing department to adjust small details and be polished to optimize the shapes and surfaces. When each sculpture is completely finished, we admire it with mixed feelings; the emotional feelings of accomplishment and peace of mind but also the feelings aroused by new ideas and creative desires.
The experiences in Murano are like a romantic Italian movie. Leaving our apartment on the canal in the early morning while still dark, walking along the almost empty sidewalks that are crowded with tourists in the daytime, with the lights in the antique lampposts shining reflections on the water, creates a surrealistic atmosphere. The sounds of the first boats of the day cruising over the village canals, the clashing of the docked boats rocking up against the docks as the waves roll in splashing against the canal walls and the sea gulls flying by looking for fish, enhance the maritime feeling that Murano has. The cafés are just starting to open, spreading the smell of fresh espresso and the morning newspapers are bought at the local Tabacchi store. Walking along the canal over the main bridge, exchanging hellos with other glass factory workers along the way gives us a feeling of being part of the small glass production community in Murano just waking up to start a new day with new chances for artistic success. Each morning, entering the factory we are greeted with friendly smiles from the workers and then we begin another day of creation with Silvano, his son and other assistants in the extremely hot area in front of the raging fires in the furnaces heated between 1200 and 1500 degrees celsius.
During our stays in Murano, we have learned from the local people about the interesting, dynamic, history of the Venetian islands and the development of the glass industry throughout the ages; an industry that is drastically changing due to the fast development occurring of glass objects made by die-casting. They say that is the future because there are too few glass maestros following up the present ones. Great maestros like Silvano Signoretto are not being replaced. We notice that ‘made in China’ is becoming popular in the stores. ‘Made in Murano’ is exclusive and especially the handmade sculptures made by Silvano Signoretto, which makes our sculptures extremely valuable!