Ermanno Nason

Ermanno Nason was born on July 21st, 1928 in Murano. He belongs to one of the oldest families on the island, whose recollections date back to 1300. They breathed glass, they lived glass: grandfather, father, uncles, brothers, they all worked glass. All good Maestroes both in design and manufacture. “Pasta de vero dentro al serveo, questo gera I Nason” – molten glass in the brain, that was the Nason’s. “You have to start working very young, if you want to be very good in this job” This was the Maestroes theory and indeed little Ermanno was standing at the age of 7 at the door of his father’s glass blowing shop, Italo “Otello”: Messrs Nason&Zaniol (better known as “The two Foscari”. I was still attending the elementary school when I start working” – he says.

“My passion for glass was so big that I couldn’t help but passing by my father’s glass furnace every day after school. I watched him at work, tiring, perspiring, but happy. Then I learnt the basic steps, like taking glass out of the oven, which looked like the hell mouth to me. The hot stuff was very heavy, it was hard to keep it balanced. Glass was like water, though the Glass Blowers were able to bring it out, lift it up in the air – in that typical way only glass blowers know – and shape it. And many people were walking around, opening out bubbles of glass to shape plates and other items. It was incredible.

Little by little he fell in love with his work, carrying it out with ever-increasing dedication. He left school and shared his time between the workshop and the Scuola “Abate Zanetti” per apprendisti vetrai (The Abbott Zanetti School for glass blowing apprentice) night school led by Prof Vittorio Zecchini whose purpose was the drawing learning. But the most incredible and extraordinary experience of his life happened while he was the first Maestro at the Glass workshop “Mazzega”: an unknown gentleman came in one morning with a folder full of drawings. He showed the drawings and asked whether it would be possible to reproduce them into glass.