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-   -   Bead and rings a la Lucio Bubacco and Diego Bottacin in Murano April 2012 (

Ofilia 2011-07-04 11:33am

Bead and rings a la Lucio Bubacco and Diego Bottacin in Murano April 2012
Ciao tutti! It is with great pleasure that I am officially announcing the next series of special workshops in Murano, Italy at Lucio Bubacco's studio. This studio is PRIMO! It lives and breaths the essence of where our art glass was born, right in the heart of Murano, Italy.

The dates of this five day workshop starts Monday, April 16th through the Friday, April 20th, 2012. It is also followed by a second "figures" workshop listed in a seperate thread here. The price of the workshop is $1600 US currency. This means that no matter where the dollar is at the time, and if you follow the rise and fall of the dollar, you know that sometimes you can be taken for a great loss of it's value, it helps you keep that cost relative to your currency. Others around the world who join, also get this advantage of keeping the price in US dollar. Lucio takes great risk at keeping his prices in dollar and not Euro. This is EXTREMLY GENEROUS of our host=D>!

I will start this thread with this image of Lucio I really like. Here he is serious at work, focused on his signature off mandrel figures.

Note his relaxed posture of glass and figure he is making. It's an approach that will change how you see glass from this point forward.

Here are some examples of beads and rings to share with you what the workshop will cover:

Here is a gorgeous torso made off mandrel and superimposed to a ring top.

Here is a scary scorpion in rich carmel alabastro tones produced by legendary Effetre factory.

This is a seated "thinker" in repose...... how dramatic!

Now for beads that are formed by taking mandrel gathers and superimosing small figures for a dramatic display:

AND there is also the "figurative" mandrel bead. Here is an example of a horse head, in Romanesque style:

Contact me for full details. Also see the other thread here on LE for the second workshop Lucio is hosting. There are many testimonials of students who have taken this etraordinary extra effort to learn from this master in a place that will leave an impression on you that you will cherish for life. I do not exaggerate. No matter how many times I've been to Murano, I NEVER cease to be awed and amazed by the many wonders there.

Ofilia 2011-07-30 6:10pm

Here are a couple of examples of what creating a miniature figure in TAG silver glass superimposed on a bead can give you..........ABSOLUTE EXQUISITE BEAUTY!!

We were so fortunate to have Jennifer from TAG glass as a student last year. She brought with her some samples of their line, and this is what Lucio created with it. One is Taxco and the other I'll have to check my emails what Jennifer said it was....

We will be working in Effetre glass in class. If you want to bring your own special US-made silver glass to class to play with, you are more than welcome to. Just imagine the possibilities!

ironmountainglass 2011-07-30 7:35pm

Ofilia can you give us a ball park figure on how much for the whole trip including ticket, class, room and food. I guess what I'm asking is how much would a person need to come up with to do this?

Ofilia 2011-07-31 6:36am

Hi Donna, well, frankly, the only "danger" is in the shopping about...... yes, I admit, I am a bad influence on this, as I am a poor window shopper, and have found some really awesome places to shop at, which I share with the students.

The actual cost of the workshop and shared apartments (2 to a room) is in US dollars, so that we, coming from the US, can better gage overall expenses. Those from othe countries, have the advantage of this monetary pricing in that if any currency is the one with the most flucuation, it is the dollar, as the European euro is always a bit stronger. Lucio and Luigi's keeping prices in US dollar is a risk for them, but one I know they have not yet regretted in 6 years of arranging workshops for them, so all is good:).

The workshop, that includes glass materials used and a lunch is $1600US. The shared apartment with Luigi is $55US per person, two to a room in a studio style apartment complete with private bathroom, kitchen and laundry washer. We also have other accomdations that rent for around 100 euro a night, but can house more than two persons, so it can work out to be about the same as Luigi's but you share with more people.

Cost of eating if you prepare most your meals yourself, is very cheap. It gets expensive if you eat out at restaurants. Buying fresh produce and basic foods in the local markets is very reasonable. The custom is to buy small quantities, and buy at it's freshest, so you live a lifestyle very much like the locals.

To help to keep costs down, I do bring a peanut butter jar with me (\\:D/) 'cause I love the stuff and it basically does not exist anywhere in Venice. I recommend those who like oatmeal, to bring little packets with, as oats are also not found in this region of Italy. These kind of little things to pack in your luggage, go a long way in keeping money in your pockets, to better support your shopping, and your overall spending.

Now that said, wine can be found very cheap.... anywhere from a couple euro a bottle to your liking! Buying drinking water is not necessary, but could be recommended. I often fill my drinking water bottle from the handy "fountains" for this purpose that are intermittanty all about the islands! It's just sometimes the apartment water I found needed to be "run" a little while, as they are not always in use.

The majority of shopping where students drop the most money is in Dona tools (well, who could resist??!) and in the wholesale shopping. All of these places, though, are cash and carry, SO, the benefit of that is that you do not spend more than you can afford~

So far, I think students have found the best way to bring money with is to use the "magic money walls" (ATM's). I always have students do "their homework" and check out what is better for them in the end... Travelers checks are not very well received. Credit card is fine for certain types of shopping, but you then get taxed by the banks for each transation (bastardos :( ) so, those with a good debit card plan, seem to be the happiest all around.

Another thing I do with the group, is we CONSTANTLY KEEP IN UNISON CONTACT throught the time leading up to the trip with all students in group emails!! THIS is where I am unique in the preparations of the groups. I know it was what "I" like and what I treasure the most. I do not hand-hold anyone, mind you! Do not mis-interpret what I am saying. Personally, I am a strong fairly independant traveler. This trait is what has led me to find paths that are priceless. Doing our own homework, and sharing as a group of common-interest-folk, help bind us in our quest\\:D/! I really strive for a good cohesive group of people.

One of the things we share as a group before hand, is keeping an eye on air fares, and shareing when we found something or timing to be good. We've shared cheapest phone options, the banking options, etc. Having purchased fares to Venice for so many trips now, I can give you some advise as to "choices" of arrivals and departures, that can also save you time and money. Obviously, cost of air fare will vary from what part of the world you are coming from, as are what airlines have the best deals for different regions you come from. From the US, for example, there are three cities right now, that have direct flights to VCE; Philladelphia, Atlanta and JFK. These can mean less hassle of connections in other foreign countries. It may also mean a little more cost, but maybe not that much difference finacially when you weigh the differences. We help each other out in advise on all these kinds of matters, and this is [u]unique to our groups :p!!

We basically get to know each other before we even set foot in Venice, so this way, we are on to more important things like getting to know Murano and Venice and all it offers. I've been a pretty good judge of pairing up students in the apartments. Al lot of that comes from having gotten to know the personalities coming and also trying to pair them with the best suited schedule as well. It's surprising in the end how well it all works out... There are also places you can find on your own, and I have a great link to share to students if they prefer that. What I have found, though, is that in the end, students have preferred much more to be staying in Murano than in Venice proper! Just because maybe it is a more special place:biggrin:.

There is plenty of room to do your own thing, but also benefit from the overall energy of the group as a whole. I strongly urge everyone to do their homework, and plan for sights to see on their own in their free time, this for sure! I cannot count how many people who came, alone, not with a personal friend/travel companion, and walked alway with several life-ling NEW friends! I think that the experience you go through in our groups, helps to creat this camaraderie. Helps to give deeper emotion to the overall experience. This is something you do not "buy" anywhwere! I see it for sure in those who were open to this completely different place, different way of life, and open to come what may.

Hope this helps a little to give you ideas, and if not, others who have done the trip may chime in and give you ideas and tips. Again, the biggest expense is in how much "outside shopping" you want to do. Otherwise, it's pretty laid out for you. With good preparation time, you can stash money away and be totally prepared for it!

jknappcampbell 2011-07-31 8:25am

Haha, you know I would say the daily expenses were breakfast, shopping for dinner which was reasonable and some wine (cheap) and coffee! That wasn't so bad. Someone needs to cook! I found cooking was fun because it was always fresh but when grouping people that might be a consideration. lol
so that was maybe $15-20/day reasonable and we had several bottles of wine every night
the water taxi was great with the card, don't know about otherwise, overall between the card and the additional trips added to it I probably spent $100 on travel back and forth to Venice and Burano and... They definitely want one of the Gondola rides in the channel in Venice! and to be able to purchase some of the findings and seed beads and ... and then the lamps and already made jewelry. I spent about 1000.

the shopping-- wow. Well I would say if they bring between $500 and $1000 depending on what they think they may want they will be good depending on what they think they may want and to bring a bit extra! lol
we found some bargains that were too good to pass up: the rods and the murrini!!!!
and to bring an extra bag with weight available. Leave the extra clothing at home. Bring pants and a couple of shirts to work in daily with an apron. A coat, the basics: jammies and undies, and one nice outfit and a couple of extra shirts/blouses and comfortable shoes!!!
Good luck

Marcy 2011-07-31 7:31pm

I was there with Jill and had the time of my life. My spare money mostly went to tools from Roberto Dona and to a wonderful little bird by Vittorio. Our daily expenses weren't much as Jill said. I brought instant oatmeal. That got a little old, but it was cheap to bring. We did group dinners every night where we took turns cooking, which was fun and we were pretty tired to do much traveling off of Murano, on class days. So for me, it was chipping in on dinner. and the little side trips like weekends- to Burano and the travel to Venice for a field trip or two or three. especially the days before class started.

Tee shirts, pants that easily dry. (you're using an outdoor laundry line), sneakers (get ready to do some serious walking) and reusable grocery shopping bag strong enough to carry all your food and bottles of wine, are important.

This was the trip of my lifetime. I loved it so much and was just reminiscing this weekend at the Gathering with one of my Murano fellow classmates.

Ofilia 2011-08-01 5:19am


Originally Posted by Marcy (Post 3647428)
This was the trip of my lifetime. I loved it so much and was just reminiscing this weekend at the Gathering with one of my Murano fellow classmates.

:love:Muaa to you, Marcy! I am so bummed I could not be there to share i the reminiscing with you:pout:...... It was funny I got quick messages back from several of you as I put a shout out for some advise of what to tell Donna and others here, sort of what to plan money wise and advise wise for these trips. So was missing all of you!!!

As I thought about it more, I seem to remember, I bring about $700US with me (more if I can), and sometimes even don't manage to spend it all. This allowance is for food and shopping and my trips tend to be 10 days to two weeks in general. Of course, if you are going to hit the Dona shop heavy, then plan on more;-)....they don't take American Express there (actually, not any place I have shopped at in Venice likes AmEX to be honest#-o )

My Carta Venezia is only 28 euro (as I already have the basic card, and only need to by the montly pass each trip), so 28 euro of unlimited moving about the islands is AWESOME!! Otherwise, you can buy weekend passes to get you by for touring about in Venice and Burano, Torcello etc.

I bring my Master or Visa card with for "emergency boutique shopping" at the end of my trip for things I "MUST HAVE", and of course, they also accept it at the local grocery shops, Coop:-).

Doing the frugal tips of simple things to bring with you to help spread that money around, really do go a long way! I tell you, cereal, oat meal packets, yogurt, farm fresh eggs.....and of course peanut butter as staples help supply you with surpluss funds to go out and "taste test" all the local samples of TIRAMISU money can buy:lol:!!

Ofilia 2011-08-01 5:22am

Oh...... one word of advise by another student who wishes to remain annonymous, was NOT to bring a shop-a-holic husband;-)! OMG, he did major damages at an antiquities dealer..... but then how many of you have shop-a-holic husbands to bring?? If not....... you are safe from any danger;-).

Troll Lover 2011-08-01 5:33am

Oh, how I would love to join this class!!!

KatherineN 2011-08-01 2:43pm

Murano Madness
The trip can be very economical by staying in a local apartment, shopping at the local store, cooking that wonderful local italian produce in the apartment with new made friends. I still love Laurie, MariAnne and Susan, friends from my one trip with you to study with Lucio. Don't forget the local wine-Amarone and Prosecco are terrific wines and terrific buys while in Italy.

I have fond memories of buying from the floating vegetable seller-I just pointed at the baby artichokes and green beans. I love expensive wine, medium priced wine and OK cheap wine too LOL. So, at the local store they had Barolos for 10 Euros. They would be $50 here or more. Other far less expensive wines were really really good. IMHO the house wine at most restaurants was enjoyable unlike many in the US. The restaurants open at night on Murano served true autehtic Venetian food-oftern at 1/2 to 1/3 the price for the same meal on Venice. Why? No tourists stay on Murano. A visitto the local coffee shop/bakery at least one morning at the base of the Iron bridge is well worth a couple Euros. All locals go there. OK enough about the food and wine.

Living, walking, grocery shoppping with the locals is the way to experience the culture in a way that felt deeper than visiting big tourist sites where I feel like a visitor. Fond memories remain of sitting at canal edge with friends, cheese and OK more wine. We watched the fishing boats go out and the vaporettos go by and soaked it all in.

Plus Lucio is just super nice and happy to have us in the studio learning.

I am smiling and could go on and on but I'm going to my workshop to play now.

Ofilia 2011-08-01 6:39pm


Originally Posted by Troll Lover (Post 3647668)
Oh, how I would love to join this class!!!

ANOOOOK!!! YES! Come join us, andiamo! It would be so cool if you could make it next April! FINALLY we could get to meet you in person, and show you the ropes in Murano. You are SO close! Shopping around for bargain air fares is so worth the effort. I flew KLM this last trip, and really loved your national airline. Great service, and direct to VCE, super easy!

If there is ANYTHING I can do to help you make up your mind on this, I'd love to:-P.

ironmountainglass 2011-08-04 2:03am

Thanks everyone for answering my questions. It sounds like a wonderful once in a lifetime chance. Need to see if I can start saving for this. P.S we already eat peanut butter, oatmeal and any other cheap food. When it comes to choosing between buying steaks or buying more glass we always choose the glass. LOL

beadsoncypress 2011-08-04 3:39am

Yes, cooking and sharing good and new glass friends is the way to go in Murano. Ofilia is the bestest hostess ever~!! You guys left out 1-5 euro's a day for GELATO!!!!
The vaparetto pass is the best deal anywhere and the places you can travel and see are amazing!! The apartments full of glass people are like the fun dorms we shared in college. Each person unique and wonderful.....wahhh I wanna go back!!!

Ofilia 2011-08-04 3:58am


Originally Posted by ironmountainglass (Post 3651437)
Thanks everyone for answering my questions. It sounds like a wonderful once in a lifetime chance. Need to see if I can start saving for this. P.S we already eat peanut butter, oatmeal and any other cheap food. When it comes to choosing between buying steaks or buying more glass we always choose the glass. LOL

LOL, see, brilliant minds think alike:razz:! Planning your battles and what can be better aleviated with proper planning can take a load off the final prize:wink:.

Being a free and easy spirit, and understanding that not all things come with iron clad stamp of guarantee, also allows a traveler to enjoy their stay much more than a rigid outline. There will always be cultural differences. The key is putting yourself in their shoes, and walk in their light. Always be humble, I never stress this enough to students. We are in THEIR territory, and what wonders it can behold, if you let it.......

Chelladisegni 2011-08-08 10:20am

Here are the two beads that I did in Lucio's class! sorry photos are not the best!

Wumpmonk 2011-08-09 11:42am

Oooh...I didn't see the leaf bead in class. I love how that one turned out. :waving:

Diane (clarus) 2011-08-12 1:31pm

Ciao Ofilia, Susan and Marianne! I miss you guys!

I didn't see Marianne's leaf bead either - it's gorgeous. But I agree that the photo doesn't do the elephant justice. Lucio was proud.

I have a big grin on my face every time I think about my two weeks in Murano last May. It really was the trip of a lifetime for so many reasons. The class was amazing, the people were wonderful, and being able to get into the lifestyle and culture of Venice for that much time was a dream come true. And all the magical things that happen when you least expect it. Donna, if you think you want to do it, find a way to make it happen. That's what I did last year.

It is really nice that the costs of the apartment and the class are in US$. That makes you worry less about the rise and fall of the dollar.

Airfare - yes, keep a close eye on a daily basis on the fares. I was fortunate in that my DH travels frequently on business and has a ton of frequent flyer miles saved up, so I got to fly for the cost of the taxes. Remember to play with flying on various days - Wednesday seems to be a slow day, and wound up being the only days I was able to fly in and out between San Francisco and Venice. That wound up being a good thing for my trip - 3-1/2 days ahead of the class and 4 days after, so plenty of time to explore. I noticed the airfare was less midweek, so keep the days on either end open as you look.

US Airways was a great flight out of Venice - it was direct to Philadelphia, then on to San Francisco. It was a late morning flight as well so you were able to take the Alilaguna to the airport.

I ended up getting the Carta Venezia with the monthly pass even though I arrived on the 19th. With all the traveling around I did that worked out to be cheaper than either getting two one-week passes, or getting the card and getting a bunch of individual ride passes loaded onto it. And next time I go I only have to buy the monthly pass! Trust me - you'll be on the vaporetto frequently!

Cash - definitely allow a good amount for tools from Roberto Dona. And bring your basic wish list, which will change when you use some of the tools in class. For other things it depends on what you want to bring back and how restrained you are with your spending.

Utilize the ATMs to the maximum you can withdraw at a time - I found that I could withdraw 400 euro at a time for a $5 fee per withdrawl, so that minimized the overhead. Their ATMs are nice - when you get that much, it's divided into different denominations.

Suitcases - I got overzealous and found a wonderful 29" suitcase that was super light. Only problem is it was too easy to fill! With the airline's restrictions on baggage weight and numbers you have to maximize what you're allowed. Just before I left a friend told me about her experience with Alitalia who would only allow her to take 8 kg (yes, about 17 lbs) as her carry-on, and she ended up having to leave some stuff behind. Tragic! I found that Lufthansa (who I flew to Venice) had similar restrictions, and I did my best to get within their guidelines but knew I was a little bit over. As I waited to board the plane an attendant came over to me and asked to weigh my bag. My heart stopped... Fortunately, she just gave me a warning, but I knew I'd have my work cut out for me on the way home. Remember that checking an extra bag is considerably less expensive than paying for an overweight bag.

So, BRING A LUGGAGE SCALE! On the way home I managed to cram everything I bought into both my 29" suitcase and my 22" that I used as my carry-on on the way over, and were 49 lbs each. My new "carry-on" was a large shopping bag that contained all the ceramics I had bought in Nove on a day trip, along with my "personal bag" that contained everything else. And fortunately US Airways was a lot less restrictive on carry-ons.

Food - I am a foodie who hates paying a lot for restaurant meals, so I ate a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and cold cuts from the Coop, and cooked them up myself with some pasta. However, the three restaurant meals I did have were wonderful! And the gelato, of course. Gotta have your daily dose(s).... And if you get out to the Zatterre, go to Gelateria Nico and have a giandutto (thanks, Emilio!)

One more thing - when you arrive in Venice, make sure you buy your Alilaguna ticket from the ticket counter outside Baggage Claim - do not buy from the automated machine. You only need a ticket that will take you to Murano, which costs a lot less than the regular ticket to Venice and the surrounding areas.

I can't wait to go back!!!


Chelladisegni 2011-08-12 3:39pm

Ciao Diane, Susan and of course Ofilia!!!!
All great advice!!!! As for you ATM if you have a good banker you should be able to up your daily "withdrawal" allowance! That way you do not have to keep a bunch of cash on you!
Another tip is if you are going to use a credit card MAKE SURE they do not charge their "sneaky" 3% conversion fee! Yes 3 bucks for every 100 you spend! Gets costly after a while! Capital One and Amex Platinum do not charge these fees! So check you card rules carefully! Isn't that amazing that you have to pay to have the euro converted into dollars! Just another FEE!!!
You can certainly travel to Murano/Venice on a budget and have a great time!!!! Plan ahead, take notes from everyone and most of all enjoy every second you can! Go everywhere, take advantage of every opportunity, but don't take advantage of anyone! Be kind and polite and you will go far! Rudeness goes nowhere and leaves a bad taste behind for everyone!!!
Sorry just had to add that sometimes you see this and all you can think of is they will never remember all the nice people just the rude ones! Definitely NOT how I want to be remembered!!!!!!!!!!
Go have a blast and cherish every moment!
OK off my soapbox! Back to work!

Ofilia 2011-08-13 6:01am

I am LOVIN' all the kind words and great shared tips you have for everyone, Diane, Marianne and all:p! In my groups, we always communicate as a group via emails leading up to the trip. So, not only do we share all the way building up to the voyage, but we share friendships all the time we are there. It's really a growing experience, full of imersion to the local culture flavoring our time.

You guys , Marianne, Diane, Susan and all..... are my ROCKS! Absolute tesoro (treasures) of what trips like this can bring. Always, having people with open minds and great thinking brings out the best of what an experience can be.

Be inquisitive, be adventurous, be open, and there will can be no regrets;-)!

Okay, now I have to go dig up some more photos to share....... might not be able to post till I get back from Philly, but I promise I will;-).

Ekkie 2011-09-18 3:52pm

Ofilia I seriously want to do this but will have to work out how I will finance the trip. How long before you need a confirmation? I would like to do the first class if I can find the money.

Ofilia 2011-09-21 8:56pm


Originally Posted by Ekkie (Post 3714473)
Ofilia I seriously want to do this but will have to work out how I will finance the trip. How long before you need a confirmation? I would like to do the first class if I can find the money.

Hi Jenn, email me and we can discuss all the details. Deposit is due 6 months before the workshop. The apartments and balance of the workshop, are not paid for until you are actully there. We have one of your countrymen in our group already! Start stashign away now, and before you know it, you will be ready!

We a very international group forming\\:D/! It is going to be very very unique and special. Wait till you hear what else we have in the mix...........:-k....... I just got the BIG news=D>. See the next post.....

Lea Zinke 2011-09-22 2:57am

Ohhhhhhhhh man, someday I'm gonna win the lotto and go with Lady-O on one of these trips!!!!!\\:D/\\:D/ Sounds like the best yet!

Marcy 2011-09-22 3:15am

Ofilia, congratulations. I am so happy for you and so sad I won't be there. I would love to see Abate Zanatte and what fun it would be to demo there too. It's a win/win situation that you have created. Lots of photos please!!

Chelladisegni 2011-09-22 10:29am

How much fun!!!
See Ofilia dreams can come true!!!

Here is a picture of the necklace I bought this year done by Lucio and Diego!

beadsoncypress 2011-09-22 3:57pm

Well Ofilia, you outdid yourself again. (I would love to be there as an assistant to whomever might need some help!!! CONGRATULATIONS ON ANOTHER EXPECPTIONAL EVENT!!!!

Ofilia 2011-09-22 8:29pm


Originally Posted by Chelladisegni (Post 3719872)
How much fun!!!
See Ofilia dreams can come true!!!

Here is a picture of the necklace I bought this year done by Lucio and Diego!

Woo-hoo, is right:biggrin:! We all are going to be these mini-ambassadors to a really fun, heart felt event. BRING IT!!

That horse had the coolest detailed mane. Lovely choice.

Astrid Riedel 2011-09-25 11:07am

The temptation is almost unbearable.... sounds just awesome !!!

Ofilia 2011-09-25 11:58am


Originally Posted by Astrid Riedel (Post 3724021)
The temptation is almost unbearable.... sounds just awesome !!! better a way to 'introduce' yourself to these Italians! It would be really a treasure to have you with us. Ven con noi:-)!

Astrid Riedel 2011-09-25 10:23pm

I wish our currency was not so terrible... For me it is double the amount to do this!
Darn it!!!!

SharonP 2011-09-25 11:11pm

I am *SO* going to be there, and this time I'm not going to break my leg, dammit!

Thank you, Ofilia, for arranging the demo opportunity - I can't wait to show them goblin faces!


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