That chandelier (at Doha airport) is seven metres high and contains 17,500 of these:
This is Vistosi's Giogali system, of course – the system of glass hooks dreamt up by Angelo Mangiarotti in 1967 to make possible glass compositions that are just glass, having no metal except the slender frame from which they hang.
The shape that the resulting piece takes depends solely upon the shape of that frame. Each gancio (hook) hangs from the one above. The maximum length is 2.5m, so longer compositions are formed by having layers, like the Doha piece above, or this, in a Boffi showroom in Milan:
Giogali can be used to create great curtains of glass, as here at a Bulgari showroom in Taipei:
Being only glass hooks, the resulting composition is light, airy – not heavy or dense.
The pieces above use the original design of hooks, that hang directly underneath each other. There are two sizes (Giogali and Minigiogali), and a choice of colours: clear, white, black, chrome, gold or bronze, or a custom colour of your choice.
In 2005, Angelo Mangiarotti created the 3D version, whose hooks can connect horizontally, making possible drama such as this for Bulgari in Paris:
Close up, the 3D hooks look like this:
Here, at Bulgari London, is a smaller composition, making use of the way the 3D hooks connect together, allowing a loop made only of glass:
Now, you will have seen fake Giogali. Besides being theft of intellectual property, they only look like the real thing! They don't perform in the same way: what has made the Giogali such a success is the quality of the glass rings, each one handmade in Venice. One way of telling the difference is to see how wonderfully Vistosi's hooks play with light. The result is magical, even when only lit by daylight, as here in the Toronto Four Seasons:
Actually, you'll have to take my word for the it: glass is notoriously difficult to photograph....
The images in this post have been taken from the book Vistosi have just published that shows images of some of their installations. You can download a PDF of it here.