The second Convention of International Glass Associations, sponsored by Vitrum and ITA (Italian Trade Agency) held 6-7 June in Murano (Venice), with technical sessions revolving around the industry’s main focal points; opportunities for sharing; and parallel events with artistic and cultural content. The two-day Murano meeting reinforced the determination of the organizers and delegates from the leading global glass associations to continue their work – together – as a collaborative effort that, over time, can be further refined and enhanced with even greater quality and precision.
Validating the work accomplished at the first meeting in Murano, in June 2017 and on 4 October 2017, during the 20th edition of Vitrum, the International Glass Show in Milan, the Murano event took place at the Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro, a high-level research center and lab, internationally accredited for surveys, studies, analyses and, in general, technical developments in the glass industry.
“This second meeting of the International Glass Associations confirms the importance of understanding the true market needs and those of its players. But, this is just the beginning because, if last year we laid the groundwork for an absolutely innovative industry journey, this year we managed to map out the priorities to be pursued, aware that concrete results may only be visible in the medium-long term. And, if the Murano Convention can now be deemed the annual spring meeting for the glass industry, at Vitrum 2019 (1-4 October in Milan) we will certainly have the opportunity to update ourselves and fuel our intentions to increase the value of the industry around the world”, remarked Vitrum President, Dino Zandonella Necca, at the close of the convention.
“Over the last 12 months – explains Laura Biason, director of Vitrum – since the first edition of the Convention – we have continued to strengthen the bond among all the delegates who participated last year, while also engaging with new industry players. We succeeded; and this was another huge satisfaction for us because it means we are on the right track. We were pleased to welcome in our Community Finland, as a new member this year, and two new representatives from Brazil and Slovakia. But the latest developments don’t end there. Thanks to our shared objectives, we were also able to complete the list of discussion topics we outlined last year. Communication and information took their rightful place among the priority topics, alongside technical and production standardization, education and training, history and culture, energy and environmental stewardship. As is true for all manufacturing sectors, the element of ‘promotion’ is essential to our industry. It is incumbent upon us to convey to the media an understanding of the true essence of our efforts here, based on the principles of cooperation and concerted action, that cannot help but work to everyone’s advantage”.
Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, the UK, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United States and, of course, Italy. The experiences shared by these countries were central to the 2018 convention. In three intensive work sessions, all the delegations presented case studies, plans, aims and, last but not least, their needs.
“All very compelling and, in some cases, very moving experiences – notes Zandonella – because they commanded group reflection. Strengthening R&D efforts and supporting businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, in interpreting legislative language pertaining to the glass industry in Italy and abroad, are certainly a must. It was also noted that, in some areas (the specific case of Brazil was at the heart of a lengthy analysis) the economic situation has had a considerable impact on the ‘wellbeing’ of the industry and its workers. A call was made for a collective effort for targeted actions in terms of training to assist and prepare the local workers to keep pace with the competitive procedures in the global market”.
“Our sense of Community – added Biason – is again apparent in these contexts because by sharing the projects and outcomes achieved, as well as the difficulties faced along the way, it is possible to see the issues from different perspectives. And, often, that means finding an interpretation that could be the winning solution”.
In addition to the work sessions, the delegates and representatives of the 15 trade publications were treated to a much-appreciated program of parallel events that showcased two other amazing aspects of Murano’s glass tradition. Thursday, 7 June began with Lisette Caputo’s bead-making exhibition. Also an organizer of Arts’ connection, a festival that promotes the renaissance of Murano glass through culture, Caputo demonstrated the detailed workmanship and processing phases that go into glass bead making, in keeping with the ancient local tradition that today is the domain of only about 50 “die-hard” artisans and artists. Discerning and involved, the international audience did not hesitate to ask for details about the more complicated and fascinating aspects of the process.
In the afternoon, after an exclusive tour of the Venice lagoon, the group visited the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, where “Le Stanze del Vetro” (a renowned cultural center – joint venture by Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung) is headquartered, for a guided tour of the “A furnace in Marseille. Cirva” exhibit, curated by Isabelle Reiher (director of CIRVA – Centre International de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts plastiques in Marseille) and Chiara Bertola (curator of contemporary art at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia). The tour continued with a stop at Palladio’s splendid San Giorgio Basilica, and the Vatican Chapels, the Holy See’s first Pavilion at the International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The video, summaries of the reports and all the information about the second Convention of the International Glass Associations will soon be posted to the Community website: www.communityofglassassociations.org