The furnaces which burn from dawn ‘till dusk on the famous Venetian island of Murano are hot enough to melt glass.
Particular to this tiny speck of the map is a world-renowned method of making art from glass, with colors, designs, and a three-dimensionality that is totally unique in the art world.
It’s an Intangible World Heritage, says UNESCO, and was inaccessible for tourists during COVID-19 lockdowns in Italy throughout 2020 and 2021. It was an art form that was almost bankrupt by the sheer irony of its popularity; no tourists meant no money.
But when the country became open to those vaccinated in August of 2021, they came in their hordes, and sales receipts were piled up in the shops like the island had never seen before.
Studio Berengo, a chief glass workshop on the island of Murano, was giving tours of its furnace areas almost without pause so people could see how the artisans and apprentices make artistic sculptures rather than functional objects like teacups and ashtrays.
Now however, a different calamity is approaching the workshops of Murano—a European energy crisis the likes of which hasn’t been seen in two generations.