Italians in Sweden

Swedish Modernist Glass Sculpture by Färe-Marcolin (LEO Design)

Two Italian brothers, Josef & Benito Marcolin, learned the art of glass-making on the Venetian island of Murano, Italy, long-regarded as one of the world’s top art glass producers.   They moved to Sweden and, in 1962, opened a little workshop in Ronneby—the picturesque “Garden of Sweden” on the southern tip of that peninsular country.  They named it “Färe-Marcolin,” a combination of their own family name plus that of Josef’s wife’s family (who may have provided start-up funds).

The brothers made vases, bowls, and a lot of sculptural objects—like the art glass “swirl” pictured above.  Because of their Italian training, and because they continued to use Murano decorative techniques, the glass had a distinctly Italian sensibility to it.  Millefiori (“Thousand Flowers”), Sommerso (colored glass encased in clear glass), and Zanfirico (a lace-like filigree web embedded in the glass)—these were all techniques popular in the Venetian style and the brothers used them in their Scandinavian glass works.

In 1991, the brothers decided to close the Swedish workshop and relocate to Sardinia, Italy, but the move was not long-lived.  Shortly thereafter, the brothers split-up, Benito returning to Sweden and Josef moving to Austria.

Please click on the photo above to learn more about the swirling art glass sculpture made by the Italian brothers in Sweden.


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