Venice: Siru make lanterns by blowing glass into a basket

Siru Venetian glass pendant For all sorts of good reasons, an outdoor chandelier is virtually impossible. So what do they do in Venice, the home of glass, if they want to install al light outside? They do this (see above), i.e. they create a lantern by making a wire basket and then blowing glass into it. Each one ends up a little different and, as you can see, the glass is usually patterned -- here, the dimpled effect called "balloton".

The specialists in this kind of work nowadays are Siru, on the Lido. All the illustrations in this introduction to the Venetian lantern are of their work.

Siru pendant light Venetian lantern

The wire in these two examples is blackened by the heat involved in the process of blowing the glass into it.

However, the wire can be treated to bring it back to its silver finish, which is appropriate for more contemporary designs, such as this one:

Siru pendant light Venetian glass

By specifying this white glass, you can pacify those clients who do not want to see a lamp.

A third wire option is this more luxurious gold plated twisted wire, as seen in the precious little bedside light below:

Siru table light bedside light Venetian glass

For centuries, Venetian design has been strongly influenced by its trading with the east (see Deborah Howard's classic book on the subject, Venice and the East: The Impact of  the Islamic World on Venetian Architecture, available from the Venice section of our aStore). Lights of Venetian origin are a godsend, therefore, when when asked to specify in a more middle-eastern/north African style (there being no long-standing local tradition of electric light fittings).

This table light...

Siru Venetian glass Sultan table light

...wall light...

Siru Venetian glass Sultan applique

...and pendant...

Siru Venetian glass Sultan pendant light lantern

...are called Sultan, for example. And this is Harem:

Siru Venetian glass Harem pendant light lantern

Other designs are much simpler:

Siru Venetian glass lantern pendant light

and more contemporary:

Siru Venetian glass Nautilus pendant light lantern

Siru Venetian glass Eclissi red pendant light

Most of the lights can be used outdoors (specify their location when ordering) and there are outdoor fittings of which the metal parts are available in a wide range of finishes. Here's just one:

Siru Venetian glass outdoor double lantern

Oh, all right then, here's another one:

Siru Venetian glass lantern on a bollard

and there is a good choice of outdoor wall lights:

Siru Venetian glass wall light lantern

So what are people doing with Venetian lanterns nowadays?

Here is the recently-opened Andaz at Napa, Calif. -- the outdoor terrace:

Siru Venetian glass lanterns at the Andaz Napa Calif on the outdoor terrace

There are floor-standing versions, here at the Eva Palace Hotel on Corfu, in the Serenissima Bellini bar:

Siru Venetian glass floor light Eva Palace Htl_Corfu- Serenissima Bellini Bar

This image of a guest room in the Hotel Blue Domes on Kos shows a single design being used as a wall  light, a bedside light and a pendant:

Siru Venetian glass at the Mitsis Blue Domes on Corfu

and same use of the fact that designs are available in complete familes is exploited elegantly here, in the Serita Beach Hotel, Crete:

Siru Venetian glass lanterns at the Serita Beach Hotel, Crete

Siru Venetian glass lantern at the Serita Beach Hotel Crete


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