The Fragility and Resilience of Murano Glass

A Commentary on the 2018 Venice Glass Week

We have been busy. Very busy actually. If you did not know, Venice Glass WeekFestival Internazionale del Vetro was held a couple of weeks ago.

Perhaps the most important event in the world of Murano glass. Venice Glass Week brings together glass artists, glass houses, buyers, resellers, media and official entities and various commercial and cultural representations. All of them united by the love of the art of blown Murano glass.

Murano glass workshop

The event ran from 9 to 16 September and its activities included exhibitions, guided tours, workshops & demonstrations, lectures and award ceremony, as well as performances, special openings, and of course, many openings, parties and leisure or sports activities.

The event is perhaps the second best pretext to enter this world of fragile and transparent beauty. Thus we could not find a better excuse than to comment again on our partnership with the house Ongaro e Fuga.

In case you could not read it before, or if you want to read it now, here is the link, although you may have to have a subscription to the Financial Times to read it. In any case, here’s our summary of said article.

The Venice Glass Week 2018 - FT Weekend special newspaper cut
The Venice Glass Week 2018 – FT Weekend

Traditional Mirror Market Current Situation

Despite being a millenarian and exclusive technique of incomparable beauty, the Murano world is currently facing a crisis.

It is a crisis caused by the modern world in fact. Given the globalization and other commercial impacts of the present times.

There is greater access to suppliers, vendors and markets, as well as greater competition. In addition to this, there is a lack of appreciation for the Murano technique compared to that which existed a few years ago.

However, all is not lost. There are new houses, new ideas, and new talents that are attracted to the Murano world and the charm of Venice.

Such is the case of the artists, architects or designers Elena Mazzi, Mario Bellini, Carlo Scarpa and Maria Grazia Rosin, which will be discussed today.

All of them, past and contemporaries, in one way or another have brought a vitality to the Murano world, not seen very often, but extremely necessary to revitalize the art.

Since we have previously covered several profiles of creators related to the Murano glass. We will use this chance to showcase the work of these creators.

1. Elena Mazzi

Venetian based visual artist whose Murano inspiration is evident from her short film “Reflecting Venice“, a project that investigates the possibility of responding to recent year’s increase in environmental issues affecting Venice and the world alike.

Perhaps she was one of the first to document this decline in the Murano world in an artistic way.

She has also collaborated with the house Ongaro e Fuga dating from 2014, with the creation of Murano’s artistic glass.

Elena Mazzi Murano glass mirror

Elena Mazzi-Ongaro-Fuga-Mirror-2
Elena Mazzi Murano glass mirror

Elena Mazzi “Reflecting Venice”

Elena Mazzi "Reflecting Venice" detail
Elena Mazzi “Reflecting Venice”

Elena Mazzi "Reflecting Venice" detail 2 Elena Mazzi "Reflecting Venice" detail 3 Elena Mazzi "Reflecting Venice" detail 4

2. Mario Bellini

Milan-born architect and designer, best known for his collaboration with Rudy Ricciotti, building the Islamic arts department of the Louvre, as well as his Milano Convention Center.

Islamic arts department of the Louvre
Mario Bellini architecture
Mario Bellini Milano Convention Center Sideview
Milano Convention Center

The work of the renowned architect has not only remained in the design of buildings, his career also includes development of products for the automotive industry, electronics and communications.

The exhibition of Mario Bellini in Murano – “The architecture of glass, the glass of architecture“, gives us a 360 degree view of the work of the master in this field.

Mario Bellini Murano glass vases

Mario Bellini vase
Mario Bellini Murano glass blue vase

Mario Bellini vase 2

Mario Bellini murano glass vase grey

Murano glass blended yellow cups by Mario Bellini

3. Carlo Scarpa

Another retrospective that took place during Venice glass week, and that deserves its own space, is what was done with the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa.

Born in Venice in 1906, the career of the architect was influenced by both Venetian and Japanese culture.

Carlo Scarpa architecture

Brion Cemetery by Carlo Scarpa
Brion Cemetery
Brion Cemetery staircase
Brion Cemetery staircase

Carlo Scarpa architecture detail Carlo Scarpa cemetery staircase

His most recognized work is in the art of glass and furniture, where the artist demonstrates his interest in history, regionalism, and inventiveness in traditional techniques.

Even before Scarpa began his career as an architect, he preferred to study with the master glass workers of Murano (one of the islands in the Venetian lagoon) rather than follow the traditional path of academia.

Carlo Scarpa Murano glass vases

Carlo Scarpa Murano glass vases
Carlo Scarpa Murano glass vases
Carlo Scarpa Murano glass red vase
Vase in coral red pasta vitrea with amethyst decoro fenicio and finishings in coral-red pasta vitrea. Photography: Enrico Fiorese
Carlo Scarpa green Murano glass vase
Corroso a bugne

Carlo Scarpa Murano glass chandelier

Carlo Scarpa murano glass chandelier
Carlo Scarpa Murano glass chandelier

Carlo Scarpa Murao glass chandelier detail

4. Maria Grazia Rosin

Finally, we will return to the present with a contemporary exhibition by the hand of Maria Grazia Rosin, resident artist in Venice whose work mixes pop and fantastic influences, elaborated with the traditional technique of blown Murano glass.

Among her most relevant Murano glass modern chandeliers we can mention its Octopus candelabra, Loredan chandelier, and Cosmospora.

Octopus chandelier by Maria Grazia
Octopus chandelier
Cosmospora chandelier by Maria Grazia
Cosmospora chandelier
De Majo chandelier by Maria Grazia
De Majo chandelier
Loredan chandelier by Maria Grazia
Loredan chandelier

In addition to her chandeliers, Maria Grazia has developed a series of works in jewelry, object art and decoration inspired by the Murano technique.

I leave some pictures of your work.

Maria Grazia Murano glass art objects

Detergens murano glass piece by Maria Grazia
Maria Grazia jewelry
Maria Grazia jewelry
'Ossessione tentacolare' murano glass chandeliers and candleholders
Ossessione tentacolare
'Ossessione tentacolare' murano glass chandeliers and candleholders
Ossessione tentacolare candleholders

The Fragility and Resilience of Murano Glass

Resilience (noun)

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. “the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions

  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. “nylon is excellent in wearability, abrasion resistance and resilience.

We have presented two scenarios to you. While on the one hand the world of Murano seems to be in decline, in the face of new competitors and less harsh and hybrid techniques.

On the other hand, the last decades have seen a kind of renaissance in this millenary art. Artists and creators of all fields are still inspired by the appeal of Murano and its exquisite technique.

It is your decision if you want to continue supporting the resilience of Murano glass.

Do you want to tell the next love story with Murano? Call or email me with that specific Murano glass request and I’d love to give you the best price and service.

A Look Into the Kardashian-esque Chandelier Selection

If you follow some tabloids surely you will have read a headline about Kim Kardashian, or her sibling, Kyle Jenner. Both super figures of the entertainment world that break the internet with almost every word or action.

From a new dress, a new artistic collaboration, to a new piece of furniture that will make you sigh for its beauty and exclusivity. They are good Trump contenders in the media-shattering business.

For this reason, this time we focused on researching a bit about the interior design preferences of both stars.

We find that both have a preference for extravagance in design. However, their interest in opulence is not associated with bad taste, as we are used to by so many Hollywood stereotypes of the new rich. Woody Allen’s “Small Time Crooks” story on a couple of former crooks turned newly rich comes to mind.

In the case of Jenner and Kardashian, both have turned to award-winning interior designers to take the reins in the creation of their living spaces. Such is the case of Martyn Lawrence Bullard as well as Jeff Andrews. The former “a multi-award winning Los Angeles-based interior designer renowned for his broad range of styles and eclectic, yet sophisticated and inviting interiors“. The latter an award winning designer with regular collaborations with celebrities who creates “an innovative and refreshing approach that makes him one of the most sought-after interior designers in the industry“.

We loved their work and thus we’ll share our findings.

Full disclosure, we do not have any access to the houses of the famous, let alone any contact that gives us this information. We are only passionate about the Murano glass world and we want to share it with you.

Jeff Andrews / Kardashian’s work

One of his first choices for covering this Murano chandeliers/Hollywood icons special was to select Jeff Andrews, “Internationally celebrated interior designer who creates sophisticated and livable interiors for families and celebrities alike“.

In the vespers of season 6 of their show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians“, Kardashian asked Jeff Andrews if he would design her Mediterranean style mansion in Calabasas, California. Home of the Cheesecake Factory headquarters and other former technology companies in the greater LA area.

The obvious lighting choice for their kitchen was Murano glass. Probably the most beautiful crystal in the world, with an omnipresence in the homes of the rich and famous. And widely chosen by designers, architects and home-owners alike, Murano crustal is worldwide identifiable by its trademark seal and its Italian charm.

For the kitchen, a sparkly white-on-white space, the designer opted for a herringbone-patterned antiqued-mirror backsplash and double islands lighted by matching Murano glass chandeliers.

While we could not find any photo that showed us this chandelier, we noticed that the Jenners Kardashian’s predilection for candelabra in the dining room is a classic contemporary choice, as in our Alchemy or Latte models.

Lara chandelier for dinning room

Latte chandelier for dining room

Both white or of neutral colors, with cups or vases on a single tier that gives a harmonious effect.

Previously we talked about how well this type of chandeliers beautifully lighten modern dining rooms and kitchens, or even as how they are the favorite choice for interior designer Jan Showers.

Martyn Lawrence / Kardashian’s work

Perhaps the most regular and recent Kardashian-collab is the one with the award-winning designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

Martyn Lawrence is one of those designers/artists who play with the overcharging of elements. He incorporates styles and objects in ways that, if not for the trained eye, could fall into a ridiculous or exaggerated style.

Fortunately, the designer has no qualms in experimenting with this maximalist design philosophy, in stark contrast with the minimalism of past few decades.

The maximalist philosophy, by the way, has also been recently incorporated by Swedish design juggernaut Ikea.

This new maximalist design philosophy allows the designer to incorporate pieces that were otherwise relegated for the sake of simplicity.

Murano chandeliers are a perfect example of design pieces that, despite the minimalist trend, have kept its charm slightly intact.

The most recent Lawrence / Karadashian collaboration took place in the homes of Khloé and Kourtney in California.

We love the work he did for these homes and for that reason we will let the photos speak for themselves.

We believe that there is still much to explore in the avant-garde and eclectic design so distinctive of its brand. For the same reason, we wish you to continue with that path and extend our sincere thanks and congratulations to the designer.

The next glam-chandelier could be yours

Some of the best glass-masters in the world work for more than one design house on a commission basis. Since our roots go back to the island of Murano, Venice, you too can have access to the best glass masters when you order directly from MuranoDirect.

I invite you to know the rest of our products, email us at, fill out the form below for any additional queries.

If it is a Murano glass chandelier or mirror what you are looking for, I guarantee the best prices and personally will take care of giving you the best service before, during and after your purchase.

Continue reading “A Look Into the Kardashian-esque Chandelier Selection”

7 Artists and Designers Inspired by Murano Glass

We have written before of some artists who, under the brand name of Murano glass, have developed new products that go beyond the confines of the technique.

This time we will talk about how the designers are breaking schemes to implement the Murano technique with new environments, designs or elements.

Artists Making an Impact for their love of Murano glass

One of the most important changes that have impacted the world of Murano crystal is how it has been imbued with new concepts. Thus, we see that on the one hand the most contemporary designers have decided to retake the classical school of Murano and incorporate it into their creations, generally found in less traditional environments.

Another type of designers have resorted to the same Murano techniques to produce objects that harmoniously combine this millenary technique with new materials and techniques.

Manish Arora

The first of them is the renowned fashion designer, Manish Arora, one of the most celebrated and inspiring contemporary designers in the fashion world today.

Manish Arora is known for his astute craftsmanship and unique play on colors, such as his trademark palette of pink and gold.

He recently participated in a collaboration with other designers, in the crystal studio, Soneva Fushi, to produce some artistic elements inspired by the Murano blown glass technique.

As you can see, the artist’s passion for the feminine and colorful elements, so characteristic of his work is evident on his Murano-inspired creations.

Vincenzo De Cotiis

Italian designer, Vincenzo De Cotiis, decided to use the Murano technique to design his collection of coffee table tops, lamps and mirrors.

marble, silvered cast brass and Murano glass with industrial components like fiberglass.

Incorporating marble, silvered cast brass plates, fiberglass and Murano glass, he makes a work that projects a diffuse harmony.

The mixture with fiberglass gives non-pure properties to the glass, which, however, do not cease to amaze for its execution and aesthetic beauty, as well as by the fusion of techniques and materials.

Discs of metal and Murano glass

Fred Wilson

The following example of how the Murano world impacts the world of art comes from the hand of renowned artist Fred Wilson, with his exhibition Afro Kismet at the Pace Gallery in New York.

The artist is presenting a series of sculptures based on the technique of Murano glass, which show a deployment of evolving shifts in scale, color, and complexity, which has allowed the artist to return to themes such as blackness, death and beauty.

Afro Kismet - Fred Wilson installation 1/4

Emily Current and Meritt Elliott

But the Murano world has not only impacted artists, this week we discovered an LA duo formed by Emily Current and Meritt Elliott and their fashion brand.

The Great, a so-called casual-cool brand, recently opened a store in West Hollywood (WeHo), incorporating a Murano chandelier as part of its decoration.

The Great tries to incorporate a Boy-meets-girl décor with vintage accents that mirror the brand’s aesthetic.

WeHo The Great Murano Chandelier

In particular, I love how the Murano world is a constant source of inspiration for designers in search of elevating the vintage concept.

Love for Murano Glass is Love for Life

Finally, I leave you a sample of how the love for Murano chandeliers can be combined into something much larger and inclusive.

Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu met for their love of Murano glass, and now they maintain the Magazzino gallery of contemporary Italian art.

As you can see, the world of Murano is for many the beginning of their love story for life.

Do you want to tell the next love story with Murano? Call or email me with that specific Murano glass request and I’d love to give you the best price and service.

Modern Trends in Murano Glass Chandelier Selection

Hardly a day goes by without us finding out about how people all over the world discover their love for Murano glass. While most of us like traditional Murano chandeliers, it’s notable what some interior designers are doing when incorporating modern trends in Murano glass chandelier selection.

4 Trends in Murano Glass Chandelier Selection for Modern Atmospheres

Their beauty, majestic, and everlasting charm attracts everyone, from classically trained interior designers, to wholesale interior decorators. From real state moguls to tv personalities. And from rappers and boat owners to restaurant owners and more. Everyone has found their love for Murano once they see one.

Providing both a glamorous look with a bit of eccentricity. Murano glass chandeliers worldwide make a statement that’s hardly matched by any other lightning picture.

1. Joan and Erika favor Murano

The most recent example comes reality TV star, from Erika Jayne, from the real housewives of Beverly Hills as she shares her worth, along with her fondness for Murano art in her interview with the LA Times.

Erika Jayne’s, from TV show Real Housewifes of Beverly Hills
Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Erika Jayne’s

It’s to note that she also likes Wayfair, Anthropologie and Lamps Plus chandeliers. But what really attracted us was that she chose world class interior designer Joan Behnke & Associates to help her decorate her 17,000 square foot Beverly Hills home.

Although we recently talked about Jan Showers chandeliers, we are quite fond of Joan Behnke non-traditional style when choosing lightning, as seen from her collections on her website. We hope we get to see what she picked for Erika.

We wouldn’t be surprised she chose a modern-looking and extravagant $25,000 hand-blown Murano glass chandelier from Murano. Who needs vacation when paradise is right here at home?

Anyways, the second example we got to know recently, comes from an all-day wine bar in Houston, Texas. Located in the heights -area, Postino Wine Cafe recently acquired a vintage Murano glass chandelier as part of their retro decoration.

2. Crystal Chandelier in Postino Cafe

Located in a historic building that once was an old post office as well as a warehouse of Pappas Restaurants. The fancy cafe is open from dawn till dusk, for all Houstonians to meet, celebrate and enjoy their well crafted beverages as well as their relaxed and urban atmosphere. We celebrate their taste in choosing a non-traditional, yet, retro chandelier from Murano.

3. Aye Aye, Murano Chandelier in a Ship

Keeping up with the non-traditional chandelier style, we got to know S.S. Beatrice added a Murano chandelier as part of their decoration. Topping its grand staircase, Uniworld’s Super Ships signature design element.

This one is definitely one of those trends in Murano glass chandelier selection that we are seeing more often, as even yacht owners are incorporating them as well.

SS Beatrice grand staircase chandelier
SS Beatrice grand staircase chandelier

For the lucky few who get to make their Budapest to Giurgiu trip, we can only add you will not only be awarded by their gorgeous white Murano chandelier with blue shades, but you’ll get awarded by some pieces from Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Pino Signoretto.

4. Luxury Chandeliers for Realty

Last but not least, we wanted to point out how some modern realty developers are incorporating Murano chandeliers in ways hardly seen before.

The Needham Homefront tudor, located in 810 South St, Needham, in the county of Norfolk, in Massachusetts, has included a variety of chandeliers in their decoration.

Beginning with their dinning room, featuring a white crystal chandelier, with 8-lights and five tiers. Gorgeously adding accent and charm to the property and in beautiful contrast with the carefully selected furniture and carpeting.

A second chandelier has been chosen for their casual dining room, along a circular eat-in area. The two tier chandelier perfectly balances the circular room and spectacular views.

If this wasn’t enough, the realty has added a third chandelier, and this is the one we’re more fond of. As part of our selection of non-traditional crystal chandelier selections, the Needham folks have selected a stunning Murano chandelier inside their bath tub, an elevated stand-alone centrally located steam shower.

What we like here is not so much the chandelier itself, but how they decided to incorporate it inside the tub. Even though it’s been already elevated. It’s probably a custom chandelier as it’s intended for under water usage. But that’s hardly a problem for expert glass masters in custom Murano chandeliers.

Having a chandelier on top of your elevated bathtub can only put the royalty in their place.

That is all for now. But we’ll keep covering current and modern trends in Murano glass chandelier selection.

We keep a close eye on what designers and buyers are incorporating. And we will of course comment and bring you the best and most creative ideas in the Murano world.

Hope to see you next time.