On November 12, 2019, Venice and Murano, Italy, were devastated by “acqua alta,” record high water from tidal floods, which caused severe damage throughout the laguna and islands. Master glassblower Davide Fuin has established a GoFundMe campaign to help glass artists who need outside funding to make repairs and get shops, furnaces and studios back in working order.
Born in 1962 on Murano, Fuin still lives and works on the island. Considered one of the most skilled glassblowers of the last 30 years, he has collaborated with Italy’s famous glass houses including Venini, Toso, Pauly, Salviati, Elite, and De Majo, as well as with many international artists and designers. His work can be found in major galleries as well as private and museum collections in Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, EAU, and Australia.
On September 15, 2015, at Palazzo Franchetti on Venice’s Grand Canal, the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti honored glass master Fuin for excelling in his ability to make blown work according to Murano tradition, highlighting especially the techniques of reticello and retortoli filigree, incalmo, and avventurina. Gherardo Ortalli, president of the Istituto; Gabriella Belli, director of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia; Georg J. Riedel, president of Riedel Crystal; and Rosa Barovier, glass historian, selected the award recipients and were in attendance. William Gudenrath, resident advisor for The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG), Corning, New York, was also present at the ceremony.
“Fuin’s work was selected because he is the most visible, arguably the best, and some would say the last practitioner of the tradition of goblet makers on Murano, said to date from the Renaissance. The goblet tradition in both Murano and Venice is in considerable peril,” says Gudenrath, who himself teaches advanced courses in Venetian techniques and ensures excellence in the CMOG studio facility and its programs.
Every year Fuin spends several weeks teaching at art schools and studios around the world, including The Studio at CMOG. On January 3, 2020, the artist presented a workshop at The Glass Spot, in Richmond, Virginia, and in August will teach at his Murano hot shop.
Known widely as the crème de la crème, Fuin’s work defines classic Venetian glass. In 2000, he began producing a collection of goblets, vessels, and traditional Venetian baskets in Avventurina glass. His goal was to open new markets and appeal to a more exclusive clientele. The number of pieces and the preciousness of the sparkling, seemingly copper infused glass elevates this body of work beyond the functional. Fuin’s Avventurina collection makes an artistic statement about traditional technique and the unimaginable beauty possible only at the hand of a true maestro.