SIGHTSEEING & MUSEUMS
A visit to the Orsoni Mosaics foundry, featuring an eclectic meld of old and new, is an absolute must. By Romena Brugnerotto
A visit to the Orsoni Mosaics foundry is an absolute must
Located in the picturesque Cannaregio district, just steps from the Jewish ghetto, the Orsoni Foundry, a historic Venetian mosaics factory that testifies to the legacy of artistic craftsmanship in the Serenissima, has finally re-opened its doors to the public. Established at the end of the 19th century (1888), this legendary atelier has continued to manufacture mosaics based on secret techniques that have been handed down through generations to produce Orsoni's trademark colours.
Now owned by the Bisazza family, renowned mosaic manufacturers from Vicenza, the foundry boasts a Mosaics School,a Colour Library and several special projects.
While touring the venue, Riccardo Bisazza, the President of the Orsoni Foundry, explained why a tour of the facility is an absolute must.
Colour Library. The shelves of this unusual library do not contain books but rows and rows of coloured tiles that are used as a reference to produce the mosaics. Believe it or not, one whole shelf is dedicated to the colours used to reproduce the various shades of human skin.
Important commissions. Orsoni still provides the mosaics used to restore the world's most beautiful buildings, including the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, and the Sagrada Familia church in Spain that was designed by renowned Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí. An interesting fact: Gaudí asked Orsoni to provide the mosaics for the church after falling in love with them in Paris. Numerous requests also come from the East.
See and learn how a mosaic is made, how it is cut and prepared so that it is ready to use, plus the creation of gold leaf mosaics.
Focusing on innovation rather than simply referencing the past, The Orsoni showroom in Cannaregio was recently renovated to show architects from all over the world how mosaics can be integrated into modern houses, offices and bathrooms, and the result is breathtaking. >> Orsoni Cannaregio, 1045 T: 041 2440002-3 www.orsoni.com