VENINI is synonymous with authentic artisan excellence. What are the key values that underpin this statement and that have always represented the company’s day-to-day philosophy?
VENINI’s story is a journey of art, design and passion for glass creations. Research, experimentation and artisan wisdom translate into evading the traditional rules, opening up to the artistic avant-garde, mastering decorative techniques, thanks to the contribution of the island’s finest glass masters.
Throughout the long history of the famous Murano glass artisan tradition, VENINI has been a key player, bringing about significant innovation. Can you tell us how this has been possible?
Back in 1921, VENINI & C. built the foundations of the stylistic identity which still distinguishes it today. Great forerunner of contemporaneity, even in the early years of its innovation, the brand worked with artists, architects and designers from all over the world. Alongside original artistic production, new product categories emerge, such as the famous chandeliers, often destined for large public and private works.
Every VENINI piece boasts authentic craftsmanship and high artistic content. Many are the result of collaborations with great artists and prestigious designers. Which are the most memorable pieces from the past and, if you are allowed to tell us just a little about them, which do you think will stand out in the future?
VENINI arrived in the 21st century with a wealth of creative and production experience, making it the “go-to” brand for the most extraordinary handmade blown glass designs. Each creation has a story which makes it completely unique and “memorable”, this is the beauty of working with great interpreters of design. Artistic collaborations with a series of major names have played and will continue to play their part in refreshing and extending the existing range. We have worked with Carlo Scarpa, Gio Ponti, Massimo Vignelli, Gaetano Pesce, Toni Zuccheri, Tapio Wirkkala, Tobia Scarpa, Ettore Sottsass, Gae Aulenti, Alessandro Mendini, Timo Sarpaneva, Claudio Silvestrin, Mario Bellini, Emmanuel Babled, Giorgio Vigna, Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu, Rodolfo Dordoni, Mimmo Rotella, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Barber & Osgerby, Fabio Novembre, Tadao Ando, Monica Guggisberg and Philip Baldwin, Atelier Oï, Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas and Aldo Cibic, to name just a few. And our design research will continue to be strengthened by future collaborations and projects.
At Cesare Attolini tradition represents a legacy of unique manual expertise developed over the years by Vincenzo and Cesare Attolini. What is the secret of Made in VENINI?
We can talk about VENINI-style, the result of an alchemy created over time, a combination of precious artisan techniques – many of them exceptional, inventor-artists, and a wide range of colours and nuances that only VENINI’s furnace can achieve. At its original furnace on Murano Island, VENINI houses its archives, the jewel in the company’s crown with 45,000 designs, 6000 period photos and 4000 works of art.
The careful recruitment and training of young tailoring workers is carried on by Massimiliano and Giuseppe Attolini. Does the same apply to VENINI? Do Murano’s younger generations show a natural interest in their local art?
Historically, VENINI has always sought out and collaborated with young designers, both household names and total newcomers to the scene. Like the Kokoon lamp project presented this year at Euroluce, designed in collaboration with the Verona Academy of Fine Arts. And thanks to the reopening of the local School of Glass, there are now glass decoration courses on o er. From the main techniques to the most sophisticated artistic decoration and glass design. We hope that all of this will bring young people closer to the world of artistic glass, creating a positive cycle between product, craftsmanship and design.
In men’s tailoring, Attolini is internationally renowned for having created the first deconstructed jacket in history, subverting the dominant British tailoring canons in the early decades of the twentieth century. Which of your precious artefacts can be defined as synonymous of VENINI?
Without a doubt the “Veronese” vase by the painter Vittorio Zecchin, VENINI’s original artistic director. The imprint made by this artist on production definitely broke away from the dominant trends at that time, refusing the superfluous to find inspiration in the classic models of the 1400s and 1500s, like in this 1921 vase, based on the painting “Annunciation of the Virgin” by Paolo Veronese. The vase was an enormous success, so much so that it became the fi rm’s “logo”. Many objects over the years have subverted the “classic” canons of the vase, among them we must also mention “Yemen” by Ettore Sottsass. VENINI’s taste is the result of a magical balance created over time, between glass techniques and exclusive colours, artists and inventor-designers of forms, and the “breath” of master glass makers – all of these have contributed to consolidating VENINI’s prestige, a testament to creativity and all-Italian craftsmanship.