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Today the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel Sant’Elena introduces you in one of the most amazing places in Venice: the Orsoni Mosaic Foundry. The Orsoni Family personifies perfectly the concept of Another Venice. As a matter of fact so little is known about their workshop and work by locals and most of tourists. Actually Orsoni’s fame goes back to Venice of the XIX century and in the age of Art Nouveau.
The foundry is inside a courtyard at the back of Fondamenta di Cannaregio and it is surrounded by a high wall which hides very well the inside of the foundry, as if to protect it and preserve its art craft. After stepping over the threshold of the ancient door, one encounters the magic of a unique setting where the fire, the furnace, the used crucibles, every corner, every detail, reveals part of the fascinating secret of the traditional crafting of glass for mosaic.
The history of Orsoni is the unique and unrepeatable history of an art craft that has handed down mysterious alchemies for four generations and it has revived the old crafts if Byzantine gold leaf mosaic and the pure smalti of Murano’s Renaissance. Following the rhythm of the craftsmen, every day quintals of coloured enamels and gold leaf mosaics leave the old factory of Cannaregio to decorate works of art, private spaces and public settings all over the world.
Bearing witness to the Orsoni’s love of mosaic art and to the decades of meticulous formulae for combining light and colour, the “Colour library”, adjacent to the furnace, preserves an infinite number of tones and shades that go far beyond our imagination.
The Orsoni name is linked to the realization of important works such as the Trocadéro and the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur in Paris, Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, San Marco in Venice and many other mosaic masterpieces in Arab and Oriental culture.
Today, the Orsoni smalti collections extends the use of this precious material, traditionally dedicated to art, enhancing design possibilities with new creative ideas. While the institution of the Master course in Mosaic has the aim of handing down and spreading the culture and technique of mosaic art.