Expert shows his art of glass

Mauro Vianello makes a sea shell under the wateful eyes of students at one of his Festival of Glass Workshops. (Louisa Jones) 177899

By Mandy Oakham

Hundreds of people turned out for a special taste of Venice at Drysdale’s recent Festival of Glass.
Young and old were entranced again by the extraordinary skills of Venetian glass master Mauro Vianello as artist-in-residence for the 2018 festival.
Mauro is a master glass artist who is renowned internationally for his extraordinary skill in creating glass replicas of animals and plants, especially marine creatures.
Mauro’s pieces are so lifelike that universities, museums and research centres around the world regularly commission replicas from him for research and teaching purposes.
His first public appearance was at a sell-out Twilight Flames event at Leura Park Estate on 17 February. During the event he sculpted and blew glass while also talking about his life on the historic island of Murano, near Venice.
The following day Mauro attended Drysdale’s Christian College, where he gave another a demonstration of glass-blowing and sculpting.
“Mauro is renowned not just for his skill and creativity as a glass artist but also for his ability as a teacher,” said a festival organiser.
“His classes after the expo offered beginning and experienced glass artists a unique opportunity to learn traditional and contemporary glass working techniques, which they can use to enhance and develop their own work.”
People who attended the classes agreed.
“Mauro is an absolute master of his art and it was a pleasure to watch him demonstrate his techniques … at the Leura Park winery and again … at the Festival of Glass at Drysdale,” Carolyn Richards posted on the festival’s Facebook page.
“I would love to do a master class with him. Looks like I need to go back to Italy!”
For centuries in the Middle Ages Murano was the centre of the world’s glass industry. Glass beads and mirrors were traded worldwide from the island.
Today Murano still influences the world of glass, with tourism operators recommending a tour of the islands glassworks as a highlight of many visitors’ stays in Venice.