Venetian Design for Artemest: Micheluzzi Glass presents Ghiaccio

Meet sisters Elena and Margherita Micheluzzi, born and raised in Venice as the second generation of a family of glass artists. Micheluzzi Glass landed at Milan Design Week 2021 for Artemest AQVA, showcasing the Ghiaccio collection: stunning Murano glass vases recalling the solid state of water, available exclusively on Artemest

Meet Micheluzzi Glass, established by Elena and Margherita Micheluzzi, daughters of renowned Venetian glass artist Massimo Micheluzzi. This Venice-based glass manufacturing company offers homeware pieces defined by reinterpretations of glass silhouettes enriched by mesmerizing accents made using the cold-cutting technique. Carefully mouth-blown by Murano master glass artisans, each object brims with the unmistakable charm that effortlessly suits both functional and decorative purposes.

The traditions of glass working have been handed down for generations in the Micheluzzi family. How do you stay true to your family values and your identity while looking to the future?

Artistic glass craftsmanship began in our family with our father, and it’s a direct experience we grew up with, watching him work and following his journey as an artist. When we decided to approach glass later on, it was under the guidance of our father. We learned a lot from him and our work is a continuation of his own – including our creative process, our approach to the techniques, our relationship with the Murano tradition, the furnace and the master, all aspects that we inherited from him.

However, we also have a strong identity – reason why we’ve wanted to create our own collections since the beginning. The way we communicate our products also strongly reflects our personality and our generation, combining our shared experience as sisters and daughters of an artist with our individual experiences working in fashion and contemporary art. Without these elements coming together, our work wouldn’t be what it is today.

Born as an immersive experience, AQVA at Salone del Mobile 2021 is tied to the theme of water and its vitality. The element of water and the city of Venice are an essential part of your brand: how important are they in your creative process?

Water, the lagoon, the canals of Venice are certainly among the main sources of inspiration for our work. The water surrounding Venice is an integral part of the city and of our lives, and consequently of our imagination. The movements of water, the waves, the tides, the play of light, the reflections: not only are we inspired by these environments, but unconsciously the colors, patterns and textures we choose remind us of these environments. For us they are fundamental references that always re-emerge and never run out ...

Reflection, transparency, movement and fluidity. These are just some of the key concepts in the works presented by Artemest at AQVA. What was the idea behind your pieces for this year’s theme?

For the AQVA exhibition we have presented our Ghiaccio vases, one of our most recent creations. They seemed perfect for this occasion because of their physicality. Not only does their texture resemble a block of sculpted ice, but they really seem to capture water in a solid state. Even more interesting is that this result is obtained with fire, and that glass is sand before melting… in short, a cycle of elements!

Not only does their texture resemble a block of sculpted ice, but they really seem to capture water in a solid state. Even more interesting is that this result is obtained with fire, and that glass is sand before melting… in short, a cycle of elements!

The Ghiaccio vases you presented to this year’s edition of Milan Design Week with Artemest are a perfect representation of your brand. How did you approach the creative process?

Our creations are always the result of a quest, but also of a dialogue with the glass master who helps us to create them. We start from an idea, a vision, but we also let ourselves be guided by the technical wisdom of the master who knows the material and understands how to shape it. The resulting objects are the result of a collaboration, even of improvisation. These vases were born just like that. One day in the furnace we saw these glass flakes, the Grazioli, and we spoke with the master about how to use them. After several tests we finally created the vase we were looking for. But only by experimenting do we reach the result, which is not a precise project, but an idea that comes to life only and exclusively during the processing itself.

The works come to life through a combination of different textures, representing the solid state of water. How did you manage to recreate the natural texture of ice? Could you describe the working process with Grazioli?

The Grazioli, as we call them in Murano, are tiny shards of broken glass leftover from glass working, and the transparent ones we use looks just like ice. Together with the master, we thought of a way to apply them to the vases and create a textured effect, in contrast with the smooth and shiny glass of the vase. This effect takes place in the furnace at high temperatures: the glass that has just been blown to give the vase a shape, is then rolled and wrapped in this bed of transparent glass fragments and heated several times so that the fragments fuse together on its surface.

Despite recent events, Milan Design Week is back in full force as a showcase of artisanal creativity and talent. What did you enjoy seeing during this Design Week?

After the pandemic, when everything stopped, events such as Milan Design Week have have finally restarted with great enthusiasm. This was certainly the edition of the rebirth for Milan, after such a difficult period. We enjoyed seeing many transversal projects across design, craftsmanship, art and fashion: three great protagonists of the Milanese scene who can and must work together. Many projects are also touching upon environmental, economic and social sustainability issues, which are undoubtedly very current. At Fuorisalone, we also enjoyed discovering unusual, off-the-beaten-track places in Milan, like of Alcova: a format that has opened the doors of three abandoned buildings of extraordinary charm, hosting over 50 exhibitors between designers, artisans, innovative brands, galleries and cultural institutions.

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