Walter Furlan (1931- )
Born near Venice, at an early age he went to work in the VAMSA glassworks. At the end of the Second World War, he joined the glassworks of Gino Cenedese where he assisted Alfredo Barbini and all the old craftsmen of the former VAMSA, amongst them world famous Mamaracio , Gino Forte , and Flavio Poli who invented the a massello technique of glass creation in Murano in the 1920's.
Furlan learned the technique of sculpting glass a massello which was later his favorite method. This technique infuses color into pure crystal sculpture, giving it brightness, vibrant color and power. Having become a master-craftsman while still young, Furlan had contacts with artists, and met Flavio Bianconi along with a chance meeting with Pablo Picasso.
At the Ferro and Lazzarini factory, Furlan begins to collaborate with Professor Ezio Rizzetto. Their mutual understanding produced artistic works which were exhibited at the early shows at Bevilacqua La Masa. Maestro Furlan had the opportunity to participate in other exhibitions with works of his own creation, obtaining recognition as a Master Designer.
In 1963 he again meets Pablo Picasso while his work is shown at the Murano Glass Exhibition, organized by the Istituto Veneto per il Lavoro. In the early 70’s, Furlan joins the Seguso Vetri d’Arte glassworks, under the guide of Maestro Angelo Seguso and the Designer Mario Pinsoni, and learns the techniques of submerged glass and stylized forms, typical of the designs of Professor Favio Poli who was then working for the Seguso Vetri d’Arte, becoming his most reliable interpreter. It is here that the Picasso inspiration becomes a reality.
In 1977 he joins the “first course for artists” organized by the International Glass School, and on this occasion, carries out works by the artists Picasso, Horst Sobota, Renzo Margonari, and Ghibbe giving proof of his great capacity and versatility for interpreting artistic design.
Later, Maestro Furlan participates in the Premio Murano, an event organized by the Abate Zanetti Association and on this occasion he carries out works for Verdiano Marzi, Andrea Pagnacco, Marconi and Lauro Santoro. More recently he has carried out works for Lindstrom, Alinari, Barattini, Wagner and Jef Van Reniaout, all renowned patrons of the arts.
The fascinating artistic work of Picasso, expressed in Furlan's glass sculptures, is demonstrated by all the experience acquired during his periods of work with old masters. He has interpreted Picasso's paintings during his Cubic Period and given them a third dimension. The colors are vivid, the work profoundly dimensional. It is as if Picasso sculpted them himself.
The works of Walter Furlan are to be found in better Italian museums that specialize in sculptured glass. His wonderful interpretations of Pablo Picasso's artwork will only increase in value as Furlan's work is now limited because of his advancing age.