When Coastal Living found Clara Tuma on Wonderful Machine, they gave her a chance to break from her hometown in Switzerland and travel to the Murano Islands in Venice, Italy. The Murano Islands are famous worldwide for their glassmaking industry, particularly for the glass’s vibrant colors and handmade designs and that’s exactly what Coastal Living wanted to showcase in their travel feature, “Navigator.” Clara got to explore this world of glassmaking while weaving her way through the some of the canals of picturesque Venice.
The first thing Clara did for this shoot was contact the glass making factory for a private appointment. She says that being in the factory was hands down the best part of the trip. “Those guys are artists,” she says, and they allowed her to get right up close to things while photographing. They continued through their work, molding the glass and using the flame-blowers as Clara shot, and they even let her shoot right beside them while working at the ovens. Clara says the temperature there was between 110 and 120 degrees.
My sweat was dripping from my forehead just like theirs. You can’t get any closer to the action.
The glass that’s made in these factories in Murano is sold in the most popular parts of Venice in the form of earrings, kitchen pieces, and decorative art. Merchants in Venice are proud to boast glass from the local islands; it’s hard to get through the city without seeing a spread of the colorful art.
Clara says that this kind of assignment is her absolute favorite. It is travel photography, but reportage, portraiture, landscape, and even food are crucial as well. Clara spent most of her days in the glass factories, while carefully planning her sunrises and sunsets to get her outdoor shots. The days were quite long in Venice, so Clara made sure to be up early and out late to capture the soft light for her landscapes.
Capturing the ferries in and out of Murano proved to be the biggest challenge in this shoot. Clara says she didn’t realize before, but the ferries zigzag through the canal from stop to stop, and the stops themselves are far too ugly to be photographed, so there was a window of just a few seconds to capture the ferries with a nice backdrop. She wound up spending two mornings and two evenings chasing the ferries for that perfect pic.
Check out the cover of Clara’s travel piece below!
And to view more of Clara’a work, visit claratuma.com.