Burano Lace Museum
Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 22, 2012
This posting is for the lace geeks out there. On our second full day in Venice we took the vaporetto (water bus) from Fondamente Nuove to Burano. Burano is known for its vividly coloured houses (that’s for another posting) and its lace. The lanes and squares of Burano are filled with shops selling over-priced lace made in China. But that’s what the tourists want.
The Museo del Merletto is located in the old lace-making school in Piazza Galuppi of Burano. The Scuola Merletti di Burano founded in 1872 and in operation until 1970. In 1981 it was converted into a museum. It re-opened to the public in 2011 after extensive renovations and it houses both Venetian and Burano needle laces, as well as providing a venue for local lace-makers to demonstrate their skill.
Even the lockers are decorated with lace!
Edging on an alb, late 19th century.
Table center, late 19th century.
Two lacemakers were at the school when I was there. Neither of them spoke English and my Italian wasn’t up to the task of discussing lace on my 3rd day in Italy, but I did find out that they use cotton thread.
The lacemaker at the back of the photo above was working on a fan (to be mounted in a frame, not on fan sticks, obviously). I was disappointed that I couldn’t see her working the reseau ground. She had finished the base design and was doing the fairly mindless job of couching the cordonnet. I can’t say I blame her for bringing easier work when one is being jostled by curious tourists and school tours, but I was hoping to see her work the ground!
The other lacemaker was working on a large edging for a cloth.
Girls from a school tour sat in the empty lacemaking chairs and pretended to make lace.