Within the Venetian tradition of glass manufacturing, the Island of Murano certainly holds the leading role. Helping through the centuries to preserve one of the most evocative arts, Murano artists are able to lead the world in expressing creativity through glass.

Among the many glass masters born in Murano, one in particular stands out due in large part to the sophistication and creativity of his works. In the fire of his furnace, glass master Alessandro Barbaro has been giving life to his creations for 35 years. He learned his skills as a young apprentice in the Formia factory. Once he had attained the status of Master, he left Formia to begin work with his own designs. Using big scissors and heavy tools, he shapes glass in a surrounding seemingly unsuitable and inhospitable for such a transparent and fragile material. Allesandro Barbaro’s talent has emerged from commercial production to the more natural expression of conceptual and figurative fine works.

Master Barbaro is supported by the talented Diego Bardella, a young glass artist and assistant glassblower. Together they create a unity between the latest technique of “massiccio” and the ancient tradition of “soffiato”. They work together to create pieces that are in excess of 50 pounds.

Often times, beginning or young glass artists will rely on color as the subject of a piece. The color will attract attention first and hopefully be so captivating that perhaps you do not notice the inferiority of skill. Artist that work predominantly with clear glass demonstrate a higher skill level because it is the form, the mastery of the skill of making the piece that becomes the subject. In the case of Alessandro Barbaro, his ability to convey the graceful, swift movement of a bird in flight or a crouching tiger is evident the moment you glance at a piece.

Inspired by these elegant species, Barbaro is a master of form and anatomy. Able to convey an emotion, intent or a passive respite of these exotic creatures. His work is extraordinary.

His attention to detail and mastery of skill has not gone unnoticed. Barbaro recently completed a six-foot tall solid crystal 24k gold tree, complete with birds on the branches that he created for an Arabian Princess. Barbaro’s work can also be found in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, the Excelsior, Sheraton, Europa, Regina, Danieli, Cipriani, Luyna Baglioni and Metropole hotels in Venice. He is also in the private collections of Marlo Thomas, the McDonald’s Family, Elton John and Madonna. Barbaro’s work appears in many corporate headquarters, including Texaco, Seiko, Warner Brothers, Alcoa and Mitsubishi.