The push toward prosperity always seems ugly, but it is how things go. The near loss of the glass industry in Murano is no surprise. People do not support the glass industry anymore. It isn't just 911 and the downturn in the economy, there are several factors. Pino Signoretto did an interview a few years back that said basically the same thing this article did. There is no interest in the young people. Watching our own young people with cell phones with computer games, whiling away the hours twittering and texting, it is easy to understand why the number of kids who want to work the furnace is dwindling... especially given that there is no money in it anymore. From what Pino said, the cost of labor and energy made staying in business difficult, particularly in Italy that does not support its glass industry. Pino said that he had greater support when he visits the USA. Maybe he will come here now. YEA! Hope, hope. Italy's loss is our gain.
One of the biggest problems I see in the art glass market is that it out-prices the wallets of most people. The article pointed out the why's of the high prices, but it doesn't cure the problem that most people cannot afford it. The money people can put into discretionary spending has become less and less.
I don't have any answers. I just have a strong desire to buy a piece of new Murano glass when I read about the problems.