Is Italy’s Murano Glass Industry Shattered? A Crisis Is Shutting Down This Classic Artform!

Fiery Works Of Art!

This is a shot of a Murano Italy glass blower making a stallion out of molten glass….resulting in this:

This timeless artistry is facing its worst crisis ever!

As The Washington Post reports:

“There has been an unusual silence within the world-famous glass factories of this Venetian island. On a late December day, at the site of the largest producer, all that could be heard was the low buzz of the two furnaces still burning hot — their bellies roiling with molten sand. The 18 other furnaces sat idle, empty and cold.”

“No one here remembers a muted December,” said Cristiano Ferro, 52, one of the owners of Effetre. Since then, the company has had to shut down the last of its active furnaces.

This is a shot of the furnaces inside a Murano glass factory from a visit Alex and I made in 2018. I filmed an Artisan turning molten glass into a rose:

Sadly, this unique and timeless art form is at risk of shutting down!

As the Post goes on to report:

“In a typical year, the glass factories here power down only once, for maintenance in August. But with Europe in the midst of an energy crisis, facing a 400 percent increase in natural gas bills, the gas-fueled blazes needed to produce Murano’s richly colored, ornate creations have become a luxury the glassmakers can scarcely afford.”


The glassmakers say half the monthly cost of operations comes from maintaining the required holding temperature. The furnaces burn at about 2,160 degrees Fahrenheit, 24-hours a day. But shutting down and starting up again is also hugely expensive. The cooling process cracks the crucibles — the clay vats in which glass is cooked. Both those and the fire-resistant bricks have to be replaced. It then can take two weeks to get back up to the right temperature. Effetre estimates that rekindling the 15 to 16 furnaces it typically has running at one time would cost $90,000 to $100,000.

This would be a tragedy, and I truly hope this is resolved…it is an art form that should never fade away!

You can read the rest of the story here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/30/murano-glass-gas-crisis/

Let’s head back into the factory in Murano Italy:

My wife and I saw this process up close when we visited Murano in 2018 – here’s some footage of the process of making a glass stallion:

You can see more of our trip here and the history of this incredible artistry by clicking on my story here:

The factories are located directly across from “Lace Island” – have you heard of it?

See more of their handiwork by clicking on my story here:

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Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Italy, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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9 replies

  1. HI John, the same thing has happened here in South Africa with a power shortage and rising energy costs. Small independent ceramists and glass factories have closed along with a lot of other vital job creating smelters.

    Like

  2. I am returning to Venice in 2023. It would not be the same to miss the glass factories. I love Venetian glass. What a fun trip you had. hanks for sharing your videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although Murano glass is not to my taste, it is hugely popular all around the world. It would be tragic to see the end of this famous tradition, I agree.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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