Spectacular new luxury department store opens in Venice

Two of the pillars upon which our business rests are luxury and Venice. So it is fitting that we bring you first impressions of the new luxury department store that opened to the public in Venice this week. Last week were the press evenings, the VIP evenings with acrobats tumbling down the walls…

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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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The New Lighting Collection from Carlo Moretti

Carlo Moretti Ovale clear Murano glass table light

This beautiful table light, called Ovale, is from the collection of lighting launched in Milan last month by the great Murano glass firm of Carlo Moretti. There is also a thrilling black glass version:

Carlo Moretti OVALE black Murano glass table light

The shade of Ovale is also made of glass. There are other designs in the collection that have fabric shades, such as Bricola:

Carlo Moretti BRICOLA table light

And Faro:

Carlo Moretti Faro Murano glass table light

Another strand of the collection is more radical in shape, more sculptural. The glass is clear and/or frosted, and the structures (which are more important to the overall design than is typical) are in muted metal tones of, for example, aged brass and crackle-finished graphite, as here in Efra:

Carlo Moretti Efra Murano glass table light

The effect is almost steam engine-like – and very untypical of the brightly coloured glass lights we expect from Murano!

The shapes are unusual; here is Scudo:

Carlo Moretti Scudo Murano glass table light

And the fascinating floor-standing Drima (H155cm):

Carlo Moretti Drima Murano glass floor light
Carlo Moretti Drima Murano glass floor light set

All of these designs were created by Carlo Moretti himself. However, a key member of the team now running the company is Antonio Ceschel. He has previously been with Osram and Venini and is exactly the person you’d want to be working with on a custom installation. He has designed Boblu, a system that allows great freedom for where glass balls can be hung, such as here, down a double height stairwell:

Carlo Moretti Boblu Murano glass light installation down a stairwell

Or more closely spaced:

Carlo Moretti boblu Murano glass light installation

The standard balls are clear, but with a white section at the top that conceals the lamp:

Carlo Mretti Boblu_Murano glass sphere

There are other patterns, and also the ability to have one or two balls in patterns derived from Carlo Moretti tumbler designs:

Carlo Moretti Boblu Murano glass pendant options

During the Milan fair, the Carlo Moretti lighting collection was displayed in the amazing showrooms that Tadao Ando designed for the cool fashion brand Duvetica. Here is Boblu by the famous two-storey curved wall:

Carlo Moretti Boblu Murano glass lighting

And the rest of the collection next door:

Carlo Moretti lighting as shown during Milan 2015

This is an outstanding, important – but also very useful – collection. You can download the lighting catalogue here.

Carlo Moretti Murano glasswoks
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Carlo Moretti during the Milan fair

Carlo Moretti lighting teaser

Carlo Moretti is best known for the finest Murano artglass objects – glasses, vases, sculptures &c.

Carlo Moretti Bora tumblers

But he also designed lights. The Carlo Moretti lighting collection will be relaunched during the Milan fair, at the Duvetica showrooms in the Montenapoleone fashion district, the building with the amazing Tadao Ando-designed two-storey curved wall

Duvetica showroom in Milan Tadeo Ando curved wall

The address is via Senato 41/a.

Your first reaction will be that the lighting collection seems very different to the artglass. There is very little colour, for example. Instead, the lights grow out of the interplay between form and function, glass and metal.

There are two elements to the collection. The first is of table and floor lights, which were partly developed by Carlo Moretti in collaboration with artist Paolo Martinuzzi. It includes about twenty lights, ranging from classic-inspired pieces like Bricola, through the surprising and original designs of Efra, Igra and Quati, to the imposing, sculptural Drima.

The other element comprises the Boblu project, a system of individual glass balls intended to be hung in site-specific arrangements in large spaces. An example has therefore been set up in the double height entrance of the Duvetica space. It has been developed by the Carlo Moretti design team together with Diego Chilò – one of the leading figures in contemporary glass and light design. As Cameron Peters, we have total confidence in Carlo Moretti’s ability to design and deliver trouble-free, and beautiful, custom arrangements, because the work will be overseen by Antonio Ceschel.  

The Duvetica showrooms are part of the same building that houses Carlo Moretti’s own Milan showrooms, at Via della Spiga, 48. It is here that they will be showing the artglass collections:

But all the production and offices are on the Venetian island of Murano:

You can read my post profiling the Carlo Moretti company here.

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