VETRI A FORMA DI VASI
In this edition we look at the story of a vases collection designed by Michele De Lucchi for Produzione Privata.
The inspiration for the limited edition collection ‘Vetri a forma di vasi’ (Glass in the shape of vases), comes from decades of research on transparency and shape. Michele De Lucchi designed simple but rich objects, choosing the artisanal production and the use transparent green blown glass due to its rarity and colour.
De Lucchi and Produzione Privata decided to resurrect a particular type of transparent green, common during the medieval ages, which fell out of fashion with time and the advent of better colours. The act of tranforming ancient materials & techniques into the culprit his products has always been a theme with De Lucchi's choices. Now, among the few artisanal producers left, this transparent green is almost always associated with Produzione Privata.
«I designed them with a very thin nib, retrieved from old pens dating back to my architecture student days in Florence. Building up the drawing with innumerable strokes, I achieved the effects of opacity and reflection with the utmost, persevering and enjoyable patience. This satisfaction can probably be seen from the persistent repetition of motifs each generated by the other, making the effect steadily more complete.»
Michele De Lucchi
«It is not at all obvious that in these glass vases it is the cavity that creates the form and the colour that creates the transparency»
Michele De Lucchi, January 2006
«Their richness is due solely to their form and to a rare colour which only a few craftsmen in Murano still know how to produce»
Michele De Lucchi, January 20th, 2006
REDISCOVERY OF ANCIENT TRADITIONS
The history of venetian glassmaking is a particularly rich one. Tecnical knowledge and skills were built up over many generations of glassblowers and improved upon through the constant process of experimentation. In this section we are embarking on a journey of discovery of the glass craftmanship which is nowadays a dying art in Italy.
Now, let us dwell into the artisanal production process of the 'Vetri a forma di Vasi' collection. This is how the process begins:
Three wooden molds made of pear wood
1 | A wood mold is essential in shaping the glass into Michele De Lucchi's edgy designs. It would be hard, if not impossible, throught the conventional mouth blowing techniques
The molds designed to give the desired shape to the glass are made entirely out of pear wood. Pear wood is chosen because it has no knots and is very resistant to heat, this is why it is the go to wood for glassblowing.
Detail of wooden mold shape
2 | The attention to details and craftmanship in the wood carving alone is impressive, and still only half of the work!
This particular mold was used to realize the Vasotre. If you wondered what the holes are made for they help the hot air escape so that the vase can cool and freeze into shape. After being blown the molten glass blows up into a kind of balloon that adheres perfectly to the walls of the mold.
3 | Once the desired shape is achieved through the mold the transparent green blown glass is left to cool and is then cut once cold
The obtained shape after ‘molding mouth’ (mold)
The warm glass, removed from the mold wood is left to cool. Then, will be 'cold' cut and later assembled. This picture is a perfect example to illustrate the effect the cast has on a blown glass. The top side shows what an object would look if only mouth blown (a big round balloon). It is then easy to spot where the mold began which is where the Vase's design takes shape after the walls of the mold.
THE FINAL COLLECTION AND THE ‘VETRI A FORMA DI VASI’ EXHIBITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Michele De Lucchi has commissioned twelve wooden molds to experiment with different designs. In the end, in the tradition of glass blowing, only ten glass masterpieces were produced.
Vetri a forma di vasi', tecnical drawing 2006
The result of this fascinating journey into the world of glass resulted in these ten 'glass shaped vessels' in delicate shades of green.
'Vetri a forma di vasi’, transparent green blown glass, Produzione Privata 2006. Ph. LucaTamburini
These ten glasses in form of vases have then started travelling around the world, exhibition after exhibition. Most notably they were displayed in New York for "The new order exhibition" and in Belgium for "Vetri a forma di vasi".
'Vetri a forma di vasi' (Glass in the form of vases) at "The New Order" exhibition, Moss Gallery, New York (USA), july-september 2006. Ph. Davide Angeli
"Vetri a forma di vasi" exhibition at showroom Quattro Benelux, Belgium
'Vasootto'; 'Vetri a forma di vasi' exhibition at showroom Quattro Benelux, Hoegaarden, Bruxelles (Belgium), march 2006. Ph. Andre Vossen