Installations created using Tubes from Vistosi

Tubes, from Vistosi,is tubes, but square ones! They can be employed in a variety of ways to make compositions, including attached directly to the ceiling, as above.

You can see below how they are normally mounted, with a visible metal structure:

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Installations created using Diadema from Vistosi

Vistosi Diadema chandedlier at Le Tre Gazzelle Milan

Diadema is one of a series of designs from the great Venetian glass company, Vistosi, intended to be used in a wide variety of ways – both as standard catalogue items (chandeliers, pendant lights, floor lights, wall lights) and for custom pieces.

It consists of glass rods, as above at Le Tre Gazelle in Milan, where they are forming the spectacular chandelier, as well as the simpler wall lights.

Diadema can be made into simple pendants, like these, for Bulgari in Paris:

Vistosi Diadema custom pendants Bulgari Paris

Though more often, the rods are of different lengths, as here, in these suspensions over a bar at the Hotel Dorint in Zurich...

Vistosi Diadema suspension lights Hotel Dorint Zurich

...which match the Diadema wall lights there:

Vistosi Diadema Hotel Dorint Zurich appliques wall lights

Back to a larger scale, here's a Diadema chandelier at the Hotel Regina Baglioni in Rome:

Vistosi Diadema chandelier at the Regina Baglioni Rome

The effect is quieter when two colours are used:

Vistosi - Diadema - Double colour

The standard glass colours are clear and topaz (as above). But blue can look very cool – in both senses! – for example.

Vistosi Diadema suspension light blue

The images in this post have been taken from the book Vistosi have just published that shows details of some of their installations. You can download a PDF of it here.

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Installations created using Giogali from Vistosi

Viastosi Giogali chandelier Doha airport

That chandelier (at Doha airport) is seven metres high and contains 17,500 of these:

Vistosi Giogali gancio

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:

Vistosi Giogali chandelier in Boffi Milan showroom

Giogali can be used to create great curtains of glass, as here at a Bulgari showroom in Taipei:

Vistosi Giogali curtains Bulgari 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:

Vistosi Giogali 3D Bulgari Paris

Close up, the 3D hooks look like this:

Vistosi Giogali 3D detail

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:

Vistosi Giogali 3D Bulgari London

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:

Vistosi Giogali chandelier Four Seasons Toronto

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.

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Murano glass chandeliers: tutorial #1

Seguso murano glass Coloniale 6 light chandelier detail

We casually say that Murano glass chandeliers can come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But we don’t necessarily explain what that means – what is possible and what is not.

So this post illustrates what is possible.

My example is Coloniale from Seguso, partly because Seguso Vetri d’Arte is one of the most illustrious of all Murano brands, and partly because it is a design that particularly suits our market. (In other words, I think that you will like it!)

Here is a round six light chandelier version of Coloniale:

Seguso Coloniale 6 light Murano glass chandelier

A twelve light:

Seguso Coloniale 12 light amber Murano glass chandelier

An eighteen light: (See that as the number of lights increases, they start being arranged in tiers.)

Seguso Vetri d'Arte Coloniale 18 light Murano glass chandelier

And a  twenty-four light:

Seguso Vetri d'Arte Coloniale 24 light Murano glass chandelier

The key point is that they are modular – a kit of standard parts that, like Lego, can be made up into different designs. In this case, there are three lengths of arm, and three units making up the stem. One of these is long and used on its own in the six light chandelier, the next is ball-shaped and added to make a longer stem in the twelve light. The third is concave. It is added above the bowl of the twelve light, partly to add length and partly to finesse the transition between the ball-shaped unit and the bowl. This shape also goes between the additional bowls in the eighteen and twenty four light.

In other words, the components are specific sizes, so you can’t have a chandelier that is the same shape but – say – 10% bigger. (In fact, you can – Murano chandeliers are made to order by the most highly skilled craftsmen, but non-standard components will cost a lot more.)

On the other hand, the modules can be made up into other things. There are always matching wall lights! This is a Coloniale two light applique:

Seguso Verti d'Arte Coloniale Murano glass applique 2 light plus blue shades

And sometimes there is also a five light wall light (in two tiers – two above, three below).

Seguso also offer table lights in this family. Here is one…

Seguso Coloniale Murano glass table light tall

…plus a floor light…

Seguso Vetri d'Arte Coloniale Murano glass floor light

…and even an elegant side table!

Seguso Coloniale Murano glass side table

You can see that the last three are constructed from the components that make up the stem of the chandelier.

Do get in touch with me if you’d like more info about Coloniale or Murano chandeliers in general.

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Produzione Privata's really helpful new web site

Produzione Privata Acquatinta pendant light

This light is Acquatinta, from Produzione Privata.

For many people, that information, plus dimensions, price and lead time, is all they want to know.

But supposing your client would like to know who designed it and why, and who made it…maybe they don’t want anonymous blobs in their home, or bar, but are interested in the backstory, the history, the provenance.

The new web site from Produzione Privata goes further than any other in taking such interest seriously. This is because they do.

Which benefits you too, by the way, because knowing a bit more about Acquatinta gives you more to say when discussing it with a client.

Produzione Privata Acquatinta pendant lights in Berlin

So, on this page, the luminaire is discussed and there are the images and technical information you need.

You can also download a 3D .dwg file.

This is a blog post that goes into detail about the Acquatinta family: how the design was conceived; the nature of the glass; the “silent poetic nudity. It was the first light designed and conceived to show the technical components required for its primary function”. It then looks at the issues raised by each of the typologies (wall, suspension) and the various versions. The original is on the right, the smaller Acquamiki is in the middle and the wall version is called Acquaparete:

Produzione Privata Acquatints, acquamiki and acquaparete

It includes a reminder that how a luminaire casts its light, and how the appearance of it changes when lit, are important considerations for any designer of light fittings. 

Produzione Privata Acquatinta pendant light options

But who actually makes the Acquatintas? There is a page on the web site that looks at glass, why Produzione Privata use it, and in which designs. Then, each of the four glass companies is identified and shown on a map (of Italy, note).

However, the biggest story is who designs them. They are the “private production” of Michele de Lucchi; not only one of the World's greatest living architects, but a prolific designer in other fields, particularly lighting, usually for Artemide – his immortality would be assured even if he had only ever done one thing: designed Tolomeo, probably the most successful quality light of all time. Produzione Privata allows him to operate independently of normal commercial pressures, and to work directly with materials and with skilled craftspeople. What something is made of, and who makes it, is essential to him, which is why due credit is given on the web site. There is also a web site dedicated to him.

Michele De Lucchi

In spite of the amount of information on the new Produzione Privata web site, it is also easy to use.

It works fine at your desk but also adapts to tablet and smartphone screens.

Produzione Privata web site on a tablet and a phone

If you just want the key info on a product quickly and clearly, click on the Products tab.

If you are interested who makes the Produzione Privata pieces, go to “Artisans & Laboratories”:

Produzione Privata artisans and laboratories

3D DWG files are available from each product page, or you can download the complete 3D library via this page:

Produzione Privata web site

There is lots more in the News, Video and Blog sections, plus Michele De Lucchi’s concept behind Produzione Privata

Michele De Lucchi blackboard

Finally, do spare just a minute for this cute little video.

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