Cesare – Glassblower Murano

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THE SURVIVING QUESTIONS

1. IN ONE SENTENCE, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE WHAT YOU DO?

I’m a glassblower, I started in the traditional way, after a while I made ​​some changes. I developed the way I wanted because it is an ancient technique but you can make it what you want, the glass is like any other material but the plus is its transparency, has got something more compared to other materials and of course this has its pros and cons. I still enjoy working with glass after all these years. I work and do things for me first, regardless of whether you can sell it or not, I do it for me.

Sometimes at a thinking level you have an idea, and then you make you end up elsewhere. After many years working with glass in your head you already know where you could get but in the beginning you go mad because you’re not sure where you will arrive, it takes time to develop that sort of consciousness. Glass needs a special kind of support because you can not touch it with bare hands. I work with the glass but in a sense I have to maintain a certain distance from it.

2. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THANKS TO YOUR HANDS?

I think you’re constantly learning. You start to do something and then the hands and the glass will take you elsewhere, it is not automatic. Ultimately I think it is difficult to separate your own hands from the mind, they travel together, especially after so many years they become one. For me it’s nice to get carried away, the glass takes different forms while you’re working with it, and the beauty is in letting things happen naturally despite you actually have a working plan . Maybe you do the same thing for ten days and then suddenly there is an evolution on the 11th that surprises you.

Usually if I have an idea I try to develop it right away, otherwise I do a sketch on a piece of paper and within a week I must try it because the initial energy is very important. There are older glass-masters than me but I have a feeling that will never go beyond a certain point, they settle with it, because even if the material is always the same, some people feel differently…in the end of the day is always a matter of passion.

 3. IF YOU HAD TO SUGGEST A TEENAGER TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Once it was much easier, today for various reasons everything is much more complicated. If you want to pursue the craft of the artisan you should know  30 % of the work to survive the first two years. You should work for another craftsman to do and experience and when you have a 30% capacity of your master then you can break away and through your passion you can overcome everything. Passion makes the difference of course, if there is none it is better to give up right now, but this is also true for an electrician: either you do it for love or for money, otherwise you get stuck. The craftsman grows continuously from the point of view of production, I do this job for 38 years now but I feel I am still evolving because I’m pushing myself to try something new. Anyways if you like what you do, although it is difficult, you’ll do it. I’ve never given too much weight to the money issue, I always thought about making objects that I liked in the first place and then I build a name around it. I have worked with many other people, including prominent designers, because it’s really inspiring.

Nowadays you have to keep in mind that many things happen around you and you need to know about them. I travel a lot and after a while Murano was not enough for me anymore, I wanted to go see. Glass is everywhere and is really important to confront with others, confrontation keeps you alive, it is instructive. For instance Japan has a certain charm while the United States is unique in their own way and use glass differently. The world of glassmakers is a “small world” and we all know each other, sometimes I go visit them, sometimes they come visit me – we also meet at conferences about glass and it is in these occasions that I’m surrounded by people who”speak the same language.”

I believe that globally there is a generational change but in Murano, unfortunately, things are not very positive , there’s a lack of institutions to address young people from the early ages, there is no enthusiasm – kids today are so bombarded that during their first thirty years they can’t focus on what they want to do, and when you’re thirty it’s a bit too late for this job, the craft must be developed earlier.

THE SURVIVING STORY

Once it was much easier today for various reasons…everything is much more complicated now. If you want to pursue the craft of the artisan, from the beginning, one must know 30 % of the work to survive the first two years. Like working for another craftsman to grow experience and when you have a 30% capacity of your master then you can also break away and think through your passion can overcome everything. Passion makes the difference of course, if it’s not there, it is better to give up right now, but this is also true for an electrician: either you do it for love or for money, otherwise you get stuck . If there is passion, your head is where is your job, you can do it for ten, twelve hours, but you don’t feel anything. Moreover the craftsman grows continuously from the point of view of production. I do this job from 38 years now but I feel I am still evolving because I’m pushing myself, I’m trying something new. Anyway, if you like what you do, although it is difficult, you’ll do it. Another thing for me is the money issues and I’ve never given it too much weight, I always thought about making objects that I liked and then I started building a name around it. You see, I have worked with many people, including prominent designers, I get a lot of inspiration from them.

Nowadays you have to keep in mind that many things happen around you and you need to know about them. I travel a lot and after a while Murano wasn’t enough for me anymore, I wanted to see , the glass is everywhere and it’s important to compare with others, the comparison keeps you alive, it is instructive . For instance Japan has a certain charm while the United States is unique in their own way and see the glass differently. The world of glassmakers is a “small world ” , we all know each other, we meet at conferences every year on the glass and in these occasions you see a bunch of people who  “speak the same language”.

I believe that globally there is a generational exchange, but in Murano unfortunately things are not very positive, there’s an organizational lack, something that addresses young people from the early ages. There is no enthusiasm. Kids today are bombarded so much that before their thirties they can’t focus on what they want to do, and at thirty is a bit ‘ too late to do this job,  you should start as soon as possible to use your hands.

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