Test Site: Venini's experimental glassware
Sparks fly as Andreas Murkudis visits the company's headquarters on Murano, an island neighbouring Venice, which is most famous for its expertise in hand blown glass.
A long-time admirer of Venini‘s glasswork, Andreas Murkudis was invited to visit the company’s Murano HQ to see for himself how its beautiful pieces are produced. At the workshop, Andreas was given a demonstration of the precise, yet poetic process by which the glassware is made.
Every step in the process is overseen by a master with an entire team around them. The job is highly skilled but not one you can do your entire life, as Andreas learned, because of the damage it can do to the lungs.
It’s one of the many reasons why the glassware is so precious, as sometimes an entire technique will die out with its master; certain items lie dormant until there is someone experienced enough to take over their production.
Andreas also visited Venini‘s museum, which houses an incredible archive of drawings and prototypes detailing the company’s many collaborations with leading designers over its 96-year history. It was here that Andreas’ idea for a special Gallery Weekend showcase of rare samples and prototypes, in particular by design heavyweights Ettore Sottsass, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva, took form.
"Every step in the process is overseen by a master with an entire team around them."
Sottsass and Sarpaneva began collaborating with Venini in 1988, while Wirkkala’s partnership with the glassmakers dates back to the 60s; the trio’s geometric, colourful items of glassware for the brand are now highly sought after. Among the exhibits for the Gallery Weekend presentation, sponsored by Audi City Berlin, are unique pieces by Wirkkala from 1976, designs by Sottsass from 1993 to 2003 and individual items by Sarpaneva from 1989, arranged in a dynamic dialogue with design pieces by Christophe Delcourt, Muller Van Severen, Michael Anastassiades and Christian Haas.
Venini‘s multi-layered quest for perfection is a source of fascination for Andreas. “This cherishing of very traditional and unique methods and techniques is a true delight to me,” he says.