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About me

My name is Marisa Convento and I have always loved glass, but in particular I love Venetian Beads.

Marisa Convento Murano Glass beads
Marisa Convento, Impiraressa. photo by Rossana Viola

For work and for passion I am an Impiraressa, that is a bead stringer, an ancient Venetian craft.

Marisa Convento and her needles
Marisa Convento and her needles by Evelyn Leveghi

I began to collect glass beads as a game and to read about the trips they had made around the world in the past. As I got to know more and more, the desire to create and learn old and new ways of using them, to make jewellery, decorations and embroidery grew in me.

 

Marisa Convento Murano Glass beads
Marisa Convento by Nicoletta Fornaro

At one point, my house was full of beads and everyone kept telling me:  “Why don’t you open a shop”?

But to start a business in Venice, the city where I have been living since I was in my twenties, it was necessary to invest a lot of money and only in 2007, with many sacrifices, was it possible for me to do so.

 

Marisa Convento Murano Glass beads
Marisa Convento by Luca Rajna

“Venetian Dreams” was the name of my artisan shop, because opening it really seemed like a miracle.

Only 28 square meters, arranged in a long and narrow space, “the size of a sewing thimble”, this is how it has been described, but many stories were lived there: people from all over the world passed by; we laughed, celebrated, discussed important issues, but also cried and suffered. It was a meeting place and mutual knowledge for many. But also a productive laboratory of beautiful things and ideas.

Marisa Convento Murano Glass beads
Marisa Convento and her beads

Many glass beads and “seed beads” were strung in that little nest and at home, since time was never enough. This is my job: impirar, stringing, as they say in Venetian dialect and which I will never stop doing.

MARISA CONVENTO – BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2019 – ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA PAVILLION

But like all dreams, my adventure in the shop is now over: since October 2019 I am no longer in Calle della Mandola where many of you have met me; many things had changed around me, everything became too confused, it was necessary to make a change.

After a period of reflection, I started again, a new dawn, always with the desire to carry on doing things, with the infinite variety of Murano glass beads; every day I wake up with a new idea in mind or a crusade to fight for. Dreams never end, they only change their shape and nothing and nobody can stop them.

Marisa Convento at Vitrum

I have had many experiences, over the decades of work; exhibitions, fashion shows, conferences, interviews, collaborations with artists and participation in the most famous events in Venetian life: the Venice Fashion Week, the Venice Glass Week, the Carnival and the Biennale di Venezia, just to mention a few.

Always on the move, always looking ahead. With a project at heart: to revalue the intangible culture of making beads and making with beads, to achieve this I have worked extensively with the Comitato per la Salvaguardia dell’Arte delle Perle Veneziane (Committee for the Safeguard of the Art of Venetian Beads), of which I am vice president.

This renewed online site was created to collect my past, present and future work, in respect of Venice, the noble ancient city to which I dedicate all my efforts.

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