The art of artistic glassmaking is passed down from father to son, as it happened to Fabio Fornasier, artisan, artist and entrepreneur recognized worldwide for his talent.
In the Venice lagoon, there is the small island of Murano where, around the 6th century AD, the art of glassmaking was born. Here, the master glassmakers pass on the secrets of their craft that combines artisan technique and creativity. Today, the majestic Murano chandeliers decorate the halls of the most beautiful private buildings and institutions in the world.
Fabio Fornasier, following the example of his father Luigi, became a master glassmaker at a very young age. Since then, he has never stopped looking for new shapes, colors and original finishes to make his works stand out and to show off his unique personal style that combines design and art. Today, his chandeliers are featured in four museums around the world.
When did you discover your passion for glassmaking?
When I first entered my father’s furnace, I immediately realized that that was my place. My challenge was to succeed in combining modern creativity and originality with an ancient method. I like being a performer and an artist, combining the project with the expertise. From my father’s artistic chandeliers, richly decorated with flowers, leaves and many other details, I moved on towards pieces that are more essential. My friend Richard Meitner, an American artist and teacher in Portugal, helped me.
While he admires the Murano technique, he was the one who suggested me to go for aesthetic simplification. From that moment onwards, I started my experimentation focusing on chandeliers that could illuminate without electricity. The chandelier that gave me the most satisfaction is the one I created to replace candlelight lighting. This is how my LUMurano chandeliers were born, which then became a collection.
What is the most particular request you have received?
Without a doubt, the huge octopus I created for the yacht of an American ship-owner: a real challenge to design, both because of the reduced height of the ceilings and because It required me to calculate the vibrations that can happen during navigation and in case of rough sea. I had to perform several tests before it was finished.
What about your new projects?
The chandelier I have just created, in two different sizes, for a personal exhibition that will take place, from September 7 to October 15, at the Florian cafe in Venice. In reality, these pieces are two artistic installations, two conceptual works made up of crushed and vacuum-sealed glasses. These works want to communicate that the art of glass is destined to die – that is the meaning behind vacuum sealing – if we are not able to count on new generations of artisans and to recover the work force that is currently disappearing. I wanted to create this work of art to give value and nobility to the art of glassmaking, which is too often limited to the production of souvenirs for tourists.