Luciano Gambaro, who is president of the Consorzio Promovetro Murano and co-runs the Murano furnace Gambaro & Tagliapietra, sees Murano’s recent rough patch as simply another obstacle in the industry’s 1,000-year track record. He points to moments in history when glass masters were wiped out by the plague, sent away to fight in the crusades, and hit by a financial crisis in the 19th-century.
The most recent crisis in the 21st century, he explained, led to the emergence of smaller, more sustainable, specialized furnaces, like his own, which is focused on design objects. As we spoke, his lean team was diligently working on a batch of buoyant, emerald-green vases for Dior’s home line. Just next door, the Costantini workshop is devoted to glass beads; and elsewhere on the island, Zanetti is known for its solid glass animals, like jaunty horses, vivid tropical birds, and slick sea creatures.