Simone Cenedese's installation for the Venice branch of COIN comprises 135 Murano glass drops. They vary in colour/finish (some transparent, some mirrored, some amber) and -- because they are blown without a mould -- they also vary in size, from 70cm to 100cm in height and in diameter from 18cm to 22cm. Such variety, that results from each one being handmade, gives a liveliness to the whole piece which machine-made uniformity could never provide. Yes, they are beautiful but what is particularly interesting is their size. Clear glass balls are ideal for installations large and small, but most balls, from sources like Bocci, Terzani and Kundalini are about 14cm in diameter. These Venetian drops are on a different scale altogether -- on a par with Melogranoblu. They are falling through three stories, on cables that are up to six metres long.
As we identified in the post Hanging Chandeliers: Practical Considerations, a key factor is what such an installation hangs from. In this case, there is a skylight above, so the drops hang from a grid beneath it. No top plate is required because there is no lighting specifically for this piece. Instead, besides the light from the sky light, there are spotlights strategically placed to cross-light it.
Point to note: it is not always necessary to have installation-specific lighting. If you don't, everything is much simpler (the top-plate-under-a-skylight problem is removed, for example) and is cheaper. Without too much lighting, these drops look well-enough lit ,yet can also and magically pick up the colour around them:
Simone Cenedese is the real deal. His furnace and showroom are still on Murano and he bears the name of an long-established Muranese glass-working family. The first firm to bear the name was founded in 1946; its output of artglass notable for beautiful and difficult sommerso pieces, often designed by their then artistic director, Antonio Da Ros:
Oh and, by the way, this COIN is famous for being like the Tardis. The last thing the passer-by expects in a typical narrow Venetian calle is a full-blown department store!
Note that the illustration of Contrapunto above is taken from Murano Glass Themes and Variations 1910 - 1970 by Marc Heiremans. It is, in our opinion, the best introduction to Murano glass, since it is organized by technique. It is available via our online bookshop, in the Glass section.