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Murano: The Treasured Island of Glass

The island of Murano is an enchanting place where the charm and history of the city are preserved through the incredible centuries of glass-blowing passed down from generations of Italian families. This tiny Venetian island has been home to Venice’s glass-making industry since 1291. December of 2021 there was an unusual silence within the world-famous glass factories of this Venetian island.  A global surge in gas prices is making it hard to keep furnaces open, threatening their survival.

The gas crisis is caused by a number of different factors. Issues stemming from insufficient stockpiles within Europe, constrained supply from Russia and increased competition from Asia for access to liquid natural gas.

Murano’s glass manufacturing involves some 60 firms employing around 1,000 workers. It was already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and the sudden rise in fuel costs represent a new challenge.

The island of Murano, and its population, cannot exist as it has for almost a millennium without the glass that has made its name instantly recognizable the world over.

The glassmakers that use the most gas are also those that deliver the most-dashing array of colors. The range and depth of those colors, along with the level of artistry, help authentic Murano glass stand out from mass-produced versions from China.

Despite the threat to Murano and its glassmakers, many glassblowers refuse to despair. Many believe it is a problem that they will overcome as they have been on the island creating for a thousand years.

The island of Murano and the many families of glass blowers have a very special place in our hearts here at Jean-Marc Fray. The Murano glass pieces we have, as well as our relationships with those who made them have been a an essential part of our story for the last 30 years. Be a part of the story and help us support Murano as this pivotal moment evolves.

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