The Orsoni furnace (active since 1888), is the only one still in the historic center and it has the merit of having revived the city’s sublime Byzantine mosaic art production and the Renaissance technique of Murano pure enamels.
If you book in advance, on Wednesday morning you can visit the furnace with a guide for free, to discover how the mosaic tiles are made and the various phases of the process: I learned that the first step is the crogiolo(where they melt the raw materials to form the opaque white body, to which are then added metal oxides to obtain the various colours), then there is “rullata” to realise “pani” of glass, until the insertion in the oven at slow sliding door, that gradually takes the glass plates at room temperature, so they can be cut in pieces with a machine. The most impressive thing is that the processes are handmade by Venetian people who keep the tradition alive.
What i think is the real gem of the furnace tough, is the “Library of the colors”, the result of a long research work: it is a picturesque archive which preserves cataloged over 3,000 gradations of tones, and offers endless color combinations that are sold all over the world to either big company for architectural projects and individual people for private use.
The place also offers private mosaic lesson for 3,5,7 or 10 days where you can learn all the mosaic techniques and create your own work of art!