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Our next stop was all the way on the other side of the island to see the studio of a very talented flameworker who had developed quite a unique process for creating soft-glass sculptural work. His name is Dario Frare, and he has developed his own process by combining techniques that are more commonly found in furnace-style glassblowing than with the flameworking process.
Through the course of my two visits to Murano, I thought that I had thoroughly explored the entire island. Clearly, I was quite mistaken. Most of the studio and factory visits we would make on this journey were within a few minutes walk of each other. The side of the island that is closest to Venice has adapted itself to be prepared for the tourist trade that is so vital to the lives of the Muranese. As we walked towards Dario’s studio, it seemed to me that we had gotten deeper into an area where there were far fewer, if any, tourist attractions. It appeared to me as though we were surrounded by many more homes than studios, galleries, or restaurants.
Dario’s studio space is not really intended for tourist or collector visits. It is a couple of small rooms that provide just enough space for the three torch stations he needs to accomplish his work and a small office/inventory room. To film his demonstration, I found myself pinned up against a wall just over Dario’s right shoulder. It was a tight spot, but it proved to be a perfect vantage point to shoot the action.
Born in 1977, Dario was exposed to glass by his father, Giuliano, a furnace-glass factory worker who had also developed some flameworking skills through the years. After Dario had spent a few years at the School of Art in Venice, Giuliano set-up a small flameworking table for him at home. Dario left school at that point to pursue a career in glassmaking.
He demonstrated the creation of a beautiful squid for us.
Dario was nice enough to spend a few more minutes with us after the wonderful demo. We interviewed him on video to add his oral history to our collection at the Rakow Research Library.
I finally had a chance to check the clock, and it was a few minutes after 5pm. Cesare had arranged one more gallery/studio visit and a dinner reservation for us in Venice proper. We had just enough time to change clothes for dinner before meeting for the boat ride into Venice from Murano.