Marisa is an “impiraressa”. An impiraressa creates with pearls sand authentic Venetian glass beads using long needles and 19th century techniques. Marisa learned the Venetian craft of threading from an impiraressa when she was a curious young girl.
Marisa’s shop,Venetian Dreams, is virtually bursting with Venetian glass beads and seed beads of every color as well as samples and displays of Marisa’s stunning handiwork. True to her craft she only uses handmade vintage beads and beads that are made on Murano.
After sharing her story and closing shop, you’re ready to set out for a fascinating walking tour (she offers wonderful personal tours!). With photos of yesteryear, she guides you through the neighborhoods where bead stringing took place for centuries.
Huge quantities of seed beads once arrived at the Castello sestiere from Murano where the women gathered to work. Strolling through the narrow streets and standing on the same street corners where once sat stringing beads, one can almost hear echoes of their friendly chatter and children playing nearby.
Millions of seed beads were strung and sent all over the world to be used in the world of fashion and design; not only in dresses, gowns, shoes, handbags and jewelry, of course, but in decorative items such as lampshades, pillows, etc. Originally there were 20 stages in making beads in Murano but production started to die in the 60’s and 70’s when they became too expensive to make and mass production in other countries increased.
Strolling through these neighborhoods, Marisa shares their story which is her story. Her passion for, and dedication and commitment to her heritage and craft is apparent and contagious…
Grazie, Marisa for keeping and sharing the legacy and threads of tradition alive!
Visit Marisa the next time you are in Venice:
Marisa Convento, Venetian Dreams
Calle della Mandola, Sestiere di San Marco 3805/B, Venezia, Italia
Better yet: Book a tour with her on Italian Stories.