European Virtual Training Centre
for glass arts and techniques


The context
In order to survive the delocalisation of glass production to Asia, the European glass industry needs to concentrate on producing new products. Only the market for products with a high artistic added value can give it a competitive edge over countries with a low labour cost. To produce such ‘objets d’art’ European professionals need to master traditional know-how and the artistic trends in the different countries.
To gain access to the rare knowledge and skills of this craft, which are spread across Europe, glass craftsmen and women need first to identify them, then experiment and master them.

An appropriate solution
In answer to this problem, 5 partners from 4 countries (France, Sweden, Italy and the Czech Republic) have developed VITRA, a Socrates Leonardo Da Vinci pilot project. Their aim: to safeguard, to share and to transmit the know-how and skills of excellence held by the major European centres of glassmaking tradition.
In order to achieve this, they have created the multilingual VITRA training website (VIrtual TRAining in glass art) which currently proposes 12 rare European techniques.

The website
This multi lingual system is organised around training videos designed for autonomous learning and which demonstrate the core principle of this training, that of gestures. Each video is accompanied by pedagogical and multimedia documents:
- A pedagogical guide
- Advice and tips synchronised with the video
- A list of equipment and tools
- A bibliography and list of useful websites
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Photographs of pieces produced using each technique
- A presentation and the history of the know-how in question
- A translation tool for technical terms

The techniques
The partners have called on renowned glass masters in their respective countries to present the 12 techniques.

FRANCE Black stain
Pâte de verre
Lampworked beads
Emmanuel SZTUKA
High enamel
Wooden moulblowing
Pavel TILLE, Frantisek EIS
ITALY Hot sculpting
Venetian goblets with reticello
Dino et Diego ROSIN

Target groups
VITRA is aimed at craftspeople and SME’s in the glass art sector, training centres for glassmaking techniques, artists and designers who design objects in glass and organisations who train these artists.


The goal is to :

- improve the competitiveness of the glass industry in Europe by developing the skills of professionals in the sector,
- enable a greater number of people to learn the techniques developed in other countries,
- set up a European observatory of glassmaking techniques and creative experiments.

The project promoters
The project promoters are European training centres, who bring to the project their pedagogical skills, their expertise and their knowledge of the glass industry, together with a university centre specialised in information and communication technologies, audiovisual and multimedia production and project management.

Vidéoscop-Université Nancy 2
9, rue Michel Ney – BP 30722
54064 Nancy Cedex
Project management: Catherine Claus-Demangeon

Vidéoscop, the audiovisual and multimedia production centre of Université Nancy 2, specialises in broadcasting knowledge via the media and producing pedagogical resources, as well as developing and coordinating European projects.
Vidéoscop is responsible for the management of VITRA, the technical production of the website and the training videos

Centre Européen de Recherches et de Formation aux Arts Verriers
4, rue de la Liberté
54112 Vannes Le Châtel
Pedagogical director: Denis Garcia

The CERFAV (European Centre for Research and Training in Glass Art) trains around fifteen glassmakers and artists a year. The CERFAV is located in a region with a strong glassmaking tradition (Daum, Baccarat, Saint-Louis and Lalique). The centre boasts one of Europe’s best-equipped multi-technique installations and benefits from a wide network of professionals and craftspeople. The CERFAV is responsible for the pedagogical management of VITRA and the organisation of the European glass symposium in Lorraine.

Abatte Zanetti Glass School
Calle Briati 8/B I
30141 Murano-Venezia
VITRA coordinator for Italy: Silvana Gubetta

This research and training centre follows in the tradition of one of Murano’s oldest glassmaking institutions, the Murano glass design school. Created in 1862, the school proposes training courses run by famous Italian glassmakers and other professionals of the glass industry in Italy. The Abatte Zanetti Glass School has provided 3 Italian techniques and is responsible for the pedagogical coordination of these techniques.

Kalmar - Pukeberg Design School
Pukebergarnas väg 61
SE-38234 Nybro
VITRA coordinator for Sweden: Ole Victor

The Design School is a department of Kalmar University offering higher education training in the field of glass design. It is located at the heart of the Swedish glass industry “the crystal kingdom” in one of the region’s 14 glass factories.
The Kalmar - Pukeberg design school has provided 3 Swedish techniques and is responsible for the pedagogical coordination of these techniques.

Glass School Novy Bor
U studánky 208
473 01 Nový Bor
VITRA coordinator for the Czech Republic: Tereza Jeřábková

The school was founded in 1870. It offers general courses and specific practical training in glass and crystal blowing. The school specialises in higher education and secondary level professional training.
The Novy Bor Glass School has provided 3 Czech techniques and is responsible for the pedagogical coordination of these techniques.

The financial partners

The project has been supported by :

The European Socrates Leonardo Da Vinci programme

The Regional Council of Lorraine

The ‘Grand Nancy’ Urban Community

Extending the project
VITRA also represents the birth of a network of European glass professionals who have come together around a common project. By joining this network, members clearly express their will to become a driving force in generating European collaboration in the field, pooling their experience to increase competitiveness and performance.
For the VITRA symposium, organised in Nancy and in Vannes-le-Châtel (France) from September 24th to 28 th 2007, the VITRA project promoters have invited all European glass schools to a presentation of the website and the project approach. The ambition of the CERFAV, the symposium organiser, is to prepare the extension of this training tool, unique in Europe, and to widen the network beyond the current partnership.

To join the VITRA network, please contact Denis Garcia - Director of the CERFAV