Today we would like to write about a different aspect of city, off the beaten track in Venice, away from the crowds and the noise that have become the typical stereotype for which our city is now known. We are talking abouteveryday’s Venice, about those people who live and work here daily.
In one of our previous posts we have opened for you the door of a Venetian house. Now we really feel that we should focus our attention on the arts and crafts of this city: the artisan world of Venice is quite lively and active, although frequently invisible to inattentive eyes. Venetian artisans are possibly the engine that let our Venice survive as a real city and not as an amusement park.
Let us now enter on tiptoe into Martina’s shop (Questoequeo, quite close to campo S. Giovanni in Bragora). Here Martina has been creating her handmade ceramic works for 33 years. Martina greets us with her beautiful smile.
Martina in her workshop.
Martina studied decorative arts, in all their different forms, but eventually she decided to take a totally personal approach in her handicrafts, decorating them only with those elements that she really loves the best, and infusing in them her inner universe and emotions, in order to create something genuine and unique. She likes Venice, the Gothic style and shells, and this is what we find in her creations.
Necklaces with ceramic shells
These are some of her necklaces: her beloved shells are decorated with the Flowery Gothic motifs of the Doges’ Palace and of Ca’ d’Oro. Even in those objects that are apparently so simple, like shells, Martina tries to reproduce our magical city as she perceives it, thus leaving her personal fingerprint, both literally and emotionally, on everything she creates. Her aim is to share her own feelings and her idea of beauty with all those who are willing to pay attention and understand. We would like now to put these ceramic shells close to our ears and try to listen to their whispers…
Decoration of a shell showing the Bovolo (snail) staircase
There you go… again Monica cannot resist the temptation of a selfie with Martina and her shells…
Monica with Martina
Looking around, we notice bowls, vases, objects of different sorts… but eventually something really special attracts our attention: exceptional ceramic masks.
This mask looks like it had just come out from one of the walls of the Venetian houses, as if the wall itself was becoming alive. It's curtains move, suggesting both the presence of the breeze blowing through and the liveliness of Venice, and inviting to observe what is beyond them.
Mask with little curtains
This other mask is in our opinion definitely superb. Here it is our magnificent Doges’ Palace itself that gets deformed into a mask and acquires some sort oflife. The pinkish color of its marble lozange decoration reminds of the color of our skin, thus making us perceive the Palace as something dear and familiar. The light arches of the first two floors connect the Palace with the Water nearby, whereas the crenellation on top connects it with the Air… The mask reproduces these two elements and adds the other two: the Earth, of which the mask itself consists, and the Fire, used for the baking procedure in the furnace. This masterpiece contains an entire world.
Mask with the Doges’ Palace
One more element in Nature is Time, which we can also find in Martina’s creations: we can see several different clocks in her workshop. The clock that immediately catches our attention, though, is St. Mark’s Clock, painted on a big vase.
It is entirely hand made, inside you can really see the signs left by Martina’s fingers! It is decorated with five different techniques, which means that the vase has undergone five baking procedures. The Roman numbers are in relief. The materials used for the decoration are really precious: notice in particular the 24-carat gold. This is one of the vases of a limited numbered edition, of course.
Vase with St. Mark’s clock
Martina really puts a little part of herself in every work she creates. When customers purchase one of her creations, they take along with themselves a little sparkle of the vital energy of this great woman who loves her job, our magical Venice, Quantum Physics an Oriental Philosophy. Yes, Martina is interested in Science and Philosophy, in the studies of Stephen Hawking, Eisemberg, Einstein, Dalai Lama. She is constantly investigating her own soul. You can really feel how much effort she puts in her work, in order to create something that is in perfect balance and total harmony with her soul and with the city itself, with no provocation nor violence with respect both with her nature and the nature of Venice.
We are now waiting for you, for a Venice guided private tour to introduce to you Martina, her creations, and hopefully quite a few other artisans who love Venice and make it live.
We take leave, as we like to do, with a picture of other Martina's objetcs. See you!