Simone Cenedese

Venice: Murano glass table lights from Simone Cenedese

Murano glass table light by Simone Cenedese There are so many things that can go wrong with a base'n'shade table light! The proportions can be wrong, the relationship of the foot to the main part of the base can be wrong. The shade can be wrong -- wrong size, wrong shape, wrong material for the base. The height of the shade on the base can be wrong. And that's just for starters! (Don't get Cheryl going....)

Yet the base'n'shade is what a light is to Britons -- as Hermann Muthesius was pointing out over a hundred years ago in his classic book, now translated into English as The English House (available from Amazon via the Interior design History section of our aStore).

Imagine our delight, therefore, when we saw the table light at the head of this post during a visit to Simone Cenedese on Murano last week! It is not startling or anything -- it is just right in all the ways that so many table lights are wrong. (The shade is oval, by the way, so it can sit on a console table within projecting out too far.)

We shouldn't be surprised, of course, given the quality of Simone Cenedese's craftsmanship and skills as a designer.

The glass balls are in two, well-matched, sizes and can come in many colours and with other surfaces. Simone Cenedese's default shade fabric is a raw silk collection from Christian Fischbacher, available in about hundred colours, and which you will have in your library of swatches already.

Then we looked about us and saw other table lights with the same virtues, usually made from standard components that also appear in their chandeliers.

This is useful if you want to match a table light to a chandelier -- or to a wall light, since there are almost always matching wall lights for Murano glass chandeliers.

For example, this, made from one large balloton ball:

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light Baloton T

Most of them have flat chrome bases. Here are some more, without comment from me -- they can speak elegantly for themselves:

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light Virginia T

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light Nebraska T

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light Oregon T

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light Texas T

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light yellow base

Simone Cenedese Murano glass table light Alabama T

Beautiful, sophisticated, and from one of the greatest current maestri (gaffers), so your clients can have something with a very special provenance and meaning in their humble home or hotel.

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Venetian Installation of Large Glass Drops by Simone Cenedese

Gocce preziose for COIN in Venice from Simone CenedeseSimone 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. Gocce preziose by Simone Cenedese for COIN 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 glass drop installation in COIN RialtoSimone 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:

Vetreria Gino Cenedese ContrapuntoOh 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!

COIN Rialto exterior 2COIN Rialto exterior 3Note 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.

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