Author Topic: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline westred

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2009, 09:14:39 PM »
Lustrousstone,

  Thank you for replying!  I now understand your intentions and am glad you pointed them out.  So far, this has been a great forum for speaking your mind about the hobby that most of us here hold close.
You sound like a great person, I totally misunderstood where you were coming from!  Forgive me for the misunderstanding?!   :fwr:

  After reading the post from Fuhrman Glass, the world and businesses in it are becoming more and more cold and just out to make a buck.  That's too bad!  I really feel for the smaller business people that have to up against these large monopolizing entities.  I will keep trying to buy from the smaller, more personal and customer oriented shops and businesses,  Like it will matter with my small contribution?  To me, it'd just the gesture itself that matters.
I, too, have been involved in a small business effort earlier in my life that really made it for over 14 years, just to be swallowed up by much larger competition.

  If it is true that glass shops on Murano are being bought up by larger gov't run entities from China, it further backs my opinion of that gov't!  It's too bad that the lineage of these long-lived family owed businesses are being cutoff by the $$ powers of the world.
I fear that all of us will soon be pawns of this same force, that seems to be sweeping all across the globe.  I think it will be too late to save the heritage of individual reward for sweat and hard work that produce the fruits of their labor.  Sweatshops is more like the really to be.  I pray not, but see no other consequence!

  I hope most people see where I am coming from.  I truly do not  hate nor do not wish disrespect to the people of the world, just to the governments and forces that take away individual freedoms and in turn the reward from peoples creativity and fruit of their personal accomplishments due from the toil and sweat of their own minds and hands!

  May the freedom for individual freedom of art and speech not be squelched by such forces!  As, I truly enjoy and embrace the vision that only a TRUE artist can bring to his or her work!  May all the artists I speak of keep creating and envisioning their art free of gov't control or manipulation!    :hiclp:       In the end, we all profit from it.

  Sincerely,

  westred
westred......yea, ya betcha!

And God said, "Let the weights hold down the papers!"


Offline langhaugh

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 07:19:00 AM »
I have the same initial reaction as Westred to Chinese glass. However,  I remember touring Chichen Itza with a Mexican tour guide. I was bemoaning the fact that all the many sellers of knick knacks there were selling goods made in Asia. The guide told me a story of a woman who developed a cooperative for a particular type of local craft. The community did well for a few years, and then she noticed that stores they sold to were stopping buying. She found out that a SE Asian company had copied her craft ware and were taking over the market. The stores knew the goods of Asian origin weren't as well made, but the stores also knew that tourists would choose the lower cost item over the "authentic" item. The same is also true of the hand-embroidered Mexican dresses. Tourists, the guide said, simply don't buy the more expensive locally made products. The guide then asked me how many locally made goods I had bought thus far in my trip.

It's a little bit the same in Murano. I looked at the good stuff there, and thought of what I could buy on eBay and in junk stores for the same money. I never thought I could visit Murano without buying glass, but I did. (Well, not quite, I did buy my wife a Venini necklace, but it wasn't for my glass collection.) If a glass fanatic doesn't buy Murano when he's there, what will the casual visitor do? I'm certainly not complaining about the price of modern glass, btw. I think the vast bulk of modern art glass (outside Chihuly) is fairly priced. It's simply that some of the older glass is a fantastic bargain. I look at some of the Zanfirico pieces I've got, think of the work that went into them, and marvel how little I paid for them. But I know I'm not supporting living artists as much as I could, and I worry about that.

So I think there are two issues. People who simply want the cheaper product, buy Chinese, and they're quite happy with it. This, I'm sure, creates a problem for Murano. Then there are people like me. I've got about 450 pieces of glass and four of them were made in the last ten years. (Admittedly, one of them is the most expensive piece I own.) Neither is it that I don't like new glass. Give me a week and a million dollars and I could go crazy in Seattle. For me, it's choice. I've got a limited amount of money, and I'd rather have 450 older (i.e. cheaper) pieces than 20 new (i.e. more expensive) ones. Yet that decision, I'm sure, helps create the market where Chinese glass increases its share of the market, while many other areas where glass is made are in dire trouble. Given the choice, I don't think I would change how I have collected. But neither am I sure that my decision is the "right" decision. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, if there is a problem, we are all, in some way, contributing to the problem.

I think we could have a similar conversation about plagiarism and glass, but I've pontificated enough for a night-- OK, a week.

Good night

David

My glass collection is at https://picasaweb.google.com/lasilove


Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 01:56:08 PM »
Apology accepted Westred  :kissy:

I think David has certainly hit one nail on the head. I haven't bought any new decorative glass, and the few bits that were given to me new are all over 10 years old. Hmm is recycling sounding the death knell of the art glass industry. When I go on holiday I do try to buy locally made products as small souvenirs, but they tend to be edible ones and I have to confess the ones that hold the memories in recent years are all "recycled" glass.


Offline Artofvenice

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 03:44:12 PM »
In Venice, as in Murano, there is more glass made in China than in Venice. This is the true.  :(
Why? Several reasons...
May be that at the beginning somebody involved in this business believed to be really (too) smart ( :-X) to sell it as Murano with much higher margin.
SO no excuses up to 4-5 years agoo.
Now it is the market demand that is really different. The customers are looking more and more for souvenirs, not for real original crafts or works of art. The old classic clients (from USA, UK, Japan) feel the Euro currency too heavy for them and therefore their budget is really lower than in the past (impossible to buy a new Murano glass for less than 30 euro); at the same time the new clients from Russia, China, India and other emerging countries are not interested in art glass at all and they are ready to spend just few euros for cheap souvenirs, masks, glass or plastic gondolas all the same.
Up to 3-4 years agoo I was selling more or less the same quality original crafts in venice as on the web, now, if I want to continue our local sales, I have only the option to divide my business in two separate areas: good glass on the web, cheap stuffs in Venice. No other ways available...  :'(

If you will came to Venice, don't stop to the junk glass in the shop windows... ask to see the real good one. May be that the seller (not all the sellers obviously) will be surprised for your request, but also he will be glad to support one of the few clients with glass knowledge and passion.  ;)

Sincerely

Alex
www.artofvenice.com


Offline Leni

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2009, 05:30:00 PM »
Hello again, Alex!  :D  :kissy: I am so glad you came along and said that!  I was afraid to say it, already feeling guilty at having started this subject off again  :[

When a friend and I visited Venice and Murano last year we saw lots of Chinese glass, even for sale in the 'best' galleries.  In fact, as we were leaving the gallery where I bought my Afro Celotto piece, the manager - thinking we were leaving without buying anything - waved his hand at a table full of paperweights and said, "How about just a little souvenir then, ladies?"  I replied, "What, the Chinese ones?  No thank you!"  He was somewhat embarrassed, and said, "Oh, maybe some are .... but .... you know .... " and shrugged.  When I replied, "I think I'll just stick with the Celotto then, if you don't mind!"  his face lit up with a wide smile. 

However, I don't hold it against Murano dealers, who still have to pay the bills for gas and electricity for the furnaces and the wages of the glassworkers and salesmen who make and sell the REAL Murano glass, when tourists won't buy good quality glass because all they want is a cheap little trinket they can say "came from Venice!"  >:(  ::)   

Leni


Offline langhaugh

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2009, 07:46:59 PM »
Leni and Alex:

Thanks for the two posts, which I agree with. I hope my post didn't sound like a complaint against all the Venetian and Murano stores. I found that when I expressed any interest and a little knowledge about glass, people were very happy to help. I had a along with me a picture of a chandelier I have that I've been trying to identify and everyone was very helpful. The owner of one store stepped in and gave me a one hour tour of his shop that was a highlight of my visit. I fell in love with a Scarpa piece and I was determined to risk divorce if it were under 6,000 euros. It was 12,000. That would have meant divorce and hunger.

I think I understand what is happening in glass. The intent of my post was not to blame anyone, but to suggest that the situation is very complex and we are all in some way involved.

David
My glass collection is at https://picasaweb.google.com/lasilove


Offline Carolyn Preston

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 12:01:15 AM »
I feel that I should say a word on behalf of the tourists. Let's face it. Travel is expensive and so is Murano glass. Not to mention most other art. When I travel, what I'm looking for is typically, cheap, cheerful and memorable. I will have spent all available cash on getting there, leaving little for buying art. Not everyone is independently wealthy and the bulk of their holiday monies must go to the transport, accommodation and food while away from home. And the glass makers must, as someone else indicated, pay the rent and the utilities and the telephone and...

Carolyn


Offline TxSilver

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2009, 12:28:03 AM »
I've heard that buying Murano glass in Venice can be more expensive than other places on earth. I have to smile when someone in a San Marco store buys glass from the USA. I imagine it is because our prices on the old pieces are often lower, even when shipping is added.
Anita
San Marcos Art Glass
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Offline Leni

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Re: Weeding out Chinese glass posing to be Murano.
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2009, 03:48:26 PM »
I'm not sure of the exact details, but I know Murano glass costs much more for Americans than for Europeans - something to do with taxes, I believe.  When I bought my Celotto piece I paid less than half the ticket price, because it was priced to sell to the US!  When the salesman discovered I was English, not American, the price dropped considerably!  (Plus I 'haggled', of course  ;) )

And I do take Carolyn's point about tourists, but I went to Murano specifically as a glass tourist!  ::) ;D  so I suppose it was different  ;)
Leni


 

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