Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition

Venice’s Punta Conterie Gallery is hosting the “Empathic – Discovering a Glass Legacy” exhibition, curated by Luca Nichetto. Featuring mesmerizing glass designs created by eight international modern designers, these pieces were made in Murano glass workshops, and are now stealing the show in Venice and around the world.

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Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Granule” vessels by Benjamin Hubert. These pieces feature chromatic gradients marking the different shapes and textures of glass, from smooth to satin, melted and in granules

The art exhibition showcases Murano glass designs, that play with color, form, and different craftsmanship techniques. Ini Archibong, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, GamFratesi, Benjamin Hubert, Richard Hutten, Elena Salmistraro, and Marc Thorpe were invited by Nichetto to create a piece or small collection exploring glassmaking techniques. The works include blown glass, glass rods, and cast glass, and the modern designers allowed their own memories and emotions to become the guides of their works.

Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Mecha” by Luca Nichetto, one of three colorful glass robots evoking the designer’s childhood icons

Murano glass is my favourite material, and a key to understanding my design approach. From the tools most commonly used in traditional Murano glass craftsmanship, to exploring new techniques, many of my designs are inspired by glassmaking in Murano. I am lucky enough to have access to this universe since my early childhood, and today I incorporate Murano glass into more than half of my projects. 

Luca Nichetto
Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Down by the water” by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance
Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Down by the water” by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance
Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Palafit” by GamFratesi. The designers looked at the Venice lagoon and the city’s foundations, creating a small landscape composed of different forms in large blown glass.

Each piece presented at the exhibition was brought to life by the skilled craftspeople of Murano, combining creativity and artisanal wisdom. There’re creations for every taste and preference, as it reflects designers’ interpretations, based on their backgrounds and signature aesthetics. Creativity and diversity are present in each piece, from Benjamin Hubert’s colorful compositions to the craft-oriented vessels by GamFratesi, merging organic glass designs and shapes, inspired by the city of Venice.

Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Medusa”, by Elena Salmistraro, was inspired by the sinuous movement of the Gorgons’ serpents.

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Soleil Sofa

Luca Nichetto’s also contributed to the art exhibition, with armored figurines from his childhood, while Elena Salmistraro’s mirror is flanked by reproductions of Gorgons’ serpents. Which one is your favorite Murano Glass design so far?

Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
“Layered” by Richard Hutten, a vertical totem featuring multicolored glass
Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
Ini Archibong’s “Africa”

Ini Archibong’s piece recreated traditional African wooden masks with intricate glasswork

Knowing that there is a historic precedent of Muranese-African cultural exchange, it entertains the prospect of a continued dialogue between the cultures through craft and spirituality.

Ini Archibong
Astonishing Murano Glass Designs Steal The Show In Venice Exhibition
‘The Family’ by Marc Thorpe is inspired by the colours of the Venetian lagoon

We could consider this exhibition a tribute to the history, art and craft of Murano. However, this exhibition is actually a love song from Luca to Murano. The works sing, carrying with them an individual resonance of unbridled passion for the spirit of Murano, conducted as a sonate by Luca Nichetto. It is an honour to participate in this passion.

Marc Thorpe

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