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The Artisan

Siru: Lights of Venice

Meet Rudy Marinotto, founder of Siru Illuminazione, based in the beautiful Lido in Venice. Here the timeless art of glass working is combined with a modern sensibility and result in stunning artworks of light.

At the end of the 80s, Rudy Marinotto started Siru in the striking location of Lido in Venice, creating a world suspended between the timeless tradition of Murano mouth-blown glass and a modern and elegant sensibility. Here the masterful art of making Venetian lanterns that has been passed down for centuries meets a contemporary approach to create one-of-a-kind, exquisite, precious objects that keep a glorious past alive while being utterly modern.

Meet the founder of Siru Illuminazione and discover unique artworks of light, where research and craftsmanship are expression of Venice's traditional identity.

Tell us the history of Siru Illuminazione.

I established ​Siru in 1989 in Venice’s Lido, with the objective of reproducing the historic Venetian lanterns with glass that was mouth blown into metallic structures, using traditional Murano techniques. These lanterns were once prestigious artifacts, yet they weren’t crafted anymore, since the market at the time preferred lower prices and a generalized standardization. ​To craft our lamps, Siru’s expert master glassmakers use ancient kilns and long-established methods of mouth-blowing glass, creating superb objets d’art. Each is unique and different from the other, since it is entirely made by hand. Only those who appreciate the one-of-a-kind marks of an artisanal product can truly love these objects.

Since 2016, I have started developing a new branch that now runs parallel to the production of Venetian lanterns and that focuses on contemporary décor, created in collaboration with world-renowned designers. ​The high quality of its production, the versatility of its offer, and the availability of tailor-made projects, depending on the needs and demands of our clientele, are the main features of Siru.

In Siru's atelier, the line between art and craftsmanship is very blurred, the two often mixing to reveal pieces with unique aesthetics. Siru is a place where every idea is transformed into an object: how does the artistic component influence your production?

The artistic component, along with the technical one, is an integral part of the production of all Siru pieces. It is the driving force behind each product’s idea and is what makes Siru stand out from other lighting companies. Glassmaking is an art form in and of itself: the ancient art of Murano glassblowing. Both the conceptual and production processes are grounded in art, such as the glass colors and textures, which are obtained by mixing sand and minerals.

What are the main techniques you use and what is the most fascinating phase of production?

Our production techniques are the same that have been used in Venice for centuries.

The first phase, important and yet not very well known, happens overnight and consists of the melting in kilns of a mix of minerals and sand. During the day, the master glassmakers work the mix. In order to create objects in mouth-blown glass from the kiln or crucible, a “portantino” gathers a drop-shaped piece of the mix with the edge of a blowing cane and works this piece of glass called “bolo”. Then he delivers it, still incandescent, to the master glassmaker who shapes it, depending on the type of object he is making.

With a series of precise and firm movements, the glassmaker contours the glass, using pliers or scissors. During this phase, the artifact hardens, gradually becoming less and less malleable, and it needs to be warmed up again in specific kilns, in order to be finished. All these phases are managed by the master glassmaker, who improvises according to his own creativity and experience.

​Your workshop is in Murano, a place with a priceless artistic heritage. How important is for you the bond with the past and traditions?

We honor our Venetian origins in every item we produce, even in the contemporary designs. While it is essential for us to be always innovative and to face new challenges, Siru has the responsibility to give our clients the taste of our Venetian history and local traditions, of which we are extremely proud.

What is the main inspiration for your designs?

We have started a new path, collaborating with a few famous designers who are helping us broadening Siru’s offer. With this latest adventure, we want to develop new creations without altering our tradition.

We try to bring to life a concept in the best way possible, leaving our designers and craftsmen the freedom of expressing themselves without limits. We try our best to highlight the creative mark of each professional who works with Siru, interpreting the identity of the company and the needs and tastes of our clientele.

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