Sandblasting Glass Art, Takarazuka Sumire Gallery, directed by Eiko Yamada

My Journey of Glass

In Venice

The chime of Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano echoing through the town from far distance gently woke me up. I could slightly feel the wine from the night before, made the moment pleasant. The dinner was exceptional because a goblet I made with a support by the professionals was extraordinary. One of the masters told me, "Eiko, you have a really good sense. This is not your first time to blow glass, is it?" I've blown glass before but my skill level does not deserve to receive such compliments. I was aware that Italian people generally flatter although it made me feel delightful.

As the night fell deep, the masters' conversations got heated. An old man proudly spoke, "Long time ago, Queen of Adriatic, Venezia, used to buy glass from Islam to distribute it to the world. The intricately decorated glass artworks were the world's treasure. The Venetians sensed that Arab conquest would soon begin and the glass import will be affected. The Venetians brought Islamic masters of the glass art one by one into Italy and secluded them in Murano Island. As Venetians assumed, Arab conquest began and the glass production stopped in the Islamic world." The tone of the old man became louder and louder that it became a speech towards the whole restaurant. He continued, "By the time, the Islamic glass masters had already started the glass art production in Murano Island. You see how clever Italians have been throughout our history?!" He gulped down a glassful of wine as if it were just water. Then cheers and whistles came from other tables. One of the masters with his arms thick as a log was eating his dinner quietly and suddenly opened his mouth, "Italian history is made by the glass artists. The history continues with us and will be taken over by our children to support the country.” He held his glass high above his head and gulped down wine as well.

What I understood from a translator were:

The rest of the conversation was impossible to follow even with the translator because of the continuous wine gulping and their rapid tongue.