executive summary by darmansjah
On the island of Murano, artisty and vision in glass
LA SERENISSIMA, an embroidery of white and pink palazzo suspended over water, has always produced extraordinary lace, carnival masks, and most notably arts glass. Glass masters, or maestri vetrai, a title once equivalent to nobility in Venice, have included such luminaries as Angelo Barovier, Pietrao Bigaglia, and Archimed Seguso. Today’s maestro of Venetian Glass is Pietro (Pino) Signoretto.
Working on the tiny Venetian island of Murano-where the city’s wood-fired glass factories were relocated in 1291 to lessen the risk of a fire in Venice itself-Signoretto is the lates in a long line of locals who brought the art of fine Venetian glass to the world. Born near Venice in 1944, he began working at the age of ten in a chandelier factory. At 16 he was a glass masater. Collaborations have included commissions for the likes of artist Salvator Dali. In 1978 he opened his own studio on Muraon.
More than a master glassblower, Signoretto is an artist of glass, with a style very much his own. His pieces range from the whimsical-a red octopus, a colorful clown astride a milky crescent moon-to the monumental. Among his masterworks is a slender horse nine high that required more than a ton of blown glass.
“Glass,” Signoretto says, “is just like a woman. When you think you have understood something about her, you haven’t understood a thing.”
Textiles-Arras Tessuti-A “laboratory’ for fabrics, Arras is known for its hand-dyed and woven scarves, jackets, and bags for women. Campiello dei Squelini 3235
Carnival Masks-Papiermache-A Venetian souvenir gets a redo at Papiermache, where Stefano and Eliana Manuela Gottardo create art. Galle Lunga Santa Marian Formosa.
Bookbinding-Paolo Obi-There is no sign of high tech at this venerable bookbinder, where paper and leather become diaries, and more. San Marco 3653