Fabio Fornasier: candles in the wind

Fabio Fornasier is a master of Murano glass who has transformed the traditional Venetian chandelier into a futuristic element of elegance intended for classic and modern interiors.

Through his desire to go ‘against’ banality and mediocrity, Fabio has created the LU-Murano chandelier that has bewitched important clients around the world. One line in the latest catalogue has novel technological features, incorporating an excellent sound system.

In his furnace in Murano, surrounded by his creations where modernity joins with tradition, we met Fabio who told us of his tireless challenge with glass.

Fabio, you consider yourself an artist or an artisan?

Absolutely a craftsman who has a basic artistic interpretation! As a child I watched the hands of my father as he created works in glass and I was amazed. I recognized in him a talent that I wanted to discover in myself and, for this, I left school at 14 years. Since then I have devoted myself entirely to glass: my inner torment.

I started as an apprentice at the furnace, according to an internal hierarchy that is no longer so rigid. The fire rested only when I approached my father rested. I remember that I got angry, because my hands did not create anything beautiful until one day I realized my first piece: a dolphin riding a wave of the sea. I still like it now.

Then you become a master of Murano glass and your chandeliers talk for you throughout the world!

There was so much work, so much effort but also so much love in my career as a craftsman. Love wanted to experience new frontiers, to prove to myself and my clients creating chandeliers that they were a symbol of modernity and class.

The chandelier, LU Murano, was born from a sketch of a cruet with oil inside drawn on a napkin. And so it came to life ‘Air and Fire’, a lamp whose light is supplied from the oil in the vials, as is tradition.

Later I added low voltage bulbs and I started playing with the artistic part using all the different colours of Murano.

So far an artistic experimentation in excellence, but what about the marriage with technology?

My desire to experiment does not stop and I wanted to try giving other functions to the chandelier. I thought that its central location in large environments is optimal for transmitting good sound through 360 degrees, eliminating reverberations and giving beauty to the speakers.

I worked a lot to perfect the combination of glass and technology to achieve a purity of sound that would satisfy the most refined ears.

My creations are now in the Museum of Glass and they are an integral part of the cultural heritage of Venice and Murano.

Meanwhile your creativity is evidenced in a chandelier of bottles, sustainability and Venetian tradition together.

With bottles of wine from Franciacorta, for wineries and collectors, I have created a chandelier reusing bottlenecks. The style recalls a historical form of the Venetian tradition, but the use of glass bottles is intended as a message of sustainability and love of wine.

And now, Fabio, where are you going?

My most recent work is a chandelier cut in two: one half a Venetian chandelier and the other is a chandelier-LU Murano. It represents the past and the present of my life in the furnace.

I’ll go ahead! I am guided by stubbornness and a desire to emerge. I have received important awards, I teach around the world and show my works in exhibitions in Paris, London, Frankfurt and Milan, but I still try daring challenges for the future.

I’m used to that!