Micheluzzi Glass: Innovative Visions of Glassmaking
Meet Elena and Margherita Micheluzzi and discover their intimate and creative approach to glass. Forged by Murano glass tradition, their vision explores new artistic opportunities giving rise to a variety of glass compositions, unique in their shapes, colors and handcrafted design.
Micheluzzi Glass is a collection of handmade glass, brainchild of Elena and Margherita Micheluzzi. Daughters of Venetian glass artist Massimo Micheluzzi, the two sisters are continuing the family tradition by developing a new line focused on glass homeware. Respecting the ancient tradition of glassmaking, driven by an innovative creative force, Micheluzzi Glass realizes one-of-a-kind mouth-blown Murano glass pieces, wisely worked by skilled artisans and finished with techniques that transform the surface and the perception of glass.
Explore the world of Micheluzzi Glass and appreciate the exclusive uniqueness of these glass artworks, all differing in color, shape, size and finish: vases and glasses are conceived as decorative objects which can be mixed and matched in multiple variations and serve as vessels in diverse settings. Murano tradition is enhanced by Micheluzzi Glass young design visions.
Micheluzzi Glass production is deeply rooted in your family tradition. Tell us how it all started and how your passion developed through the years until the present day.
It all started with our father: we discovered the magic of glass following in his footsteps. We got to know his work ever since we were little. At home we were surrounded by many glass objects that were made, collected, or picked out by him. To this day, his workshop on the ground floor of the building where we live, is a hang-out spot for the entire family. In Italian we say, “casa e bottega” (t/n: entirely dedicated to both his family and work). Therefore, it was perhaps only natural that, over time,a certain appreciation for this incredible material bloomed within us, and we grew curious to learn more about the techniques and process. We started joining our father when he worked in the furnace, observing his work up close, and, little by little, webecame eager to experiment, to create something of our own. It was then that we had the first ideas for our projects, which eventually led to the creation of the Micheluzzi Glass Collection. We immediately got hooked and, without hesitation, began embarking on many projects. It started in a very natural and organic way. Maybe it was meant to be!
What is the relationship between Micheluzzi Glass and its geographical context? What is your relationship with Murano, the island of glass-making?
Our work is closely linked to Venice, rooted in its history and, above all, constantly inspired by its beauty, its artistic wonders, and even the lagoon. We are fortunate not only to live in this special corner of the world, but also to work in Murano, the home of glass-making, and to observe world-renowned craftsmen at work. It is truly an extraordinary experience to tap into this insular reality, frozen in time, that has handed down the secrets of glass-making for centuries. Furthermore, Venice gives us the opportunity to amplify the reach of our work thanks to the city’s international audience. Anchoring ourselves in local traditions while also projecting ourselves onto the world stage is what makes Venice so special.
Playing with the most diverse visual and tactile qualities of glass, your creations combine traditional techniques with contemporary style: could you describe the creative process behind the production of one of your vases?
Each piece in our collection is unique, different in color, shape, size, and finish - the possibilities are endless! All pieces are characterized by engraved or iridescent surfaces that enhance their colors and texture, producing particular light reflections. These effects are the result of different processes that we are gradually discovering. Some take place during the “fase a caldo”, when the glass is in a hot furnace and is blown and shaped while in its incandescent state. These effects are mainly obtained through particular manual work and applications on the glass. Other techniques are used to give definition to the final appearance, taking placeduring subsequent steps when the glass sets, and has cooled and solidified. In this “fase a freddo”, the glass surface is sculpted by hand with a grinder to create engravings that completely transform its surface and texture. This creative process always starts from a defined project, the idea of a shape or a particular effect that one wants to reproduce. These can sometimes be adjusted throughout the crafting process, leaving room for improvisations, tests, and experiments, which also result from a constant exchange between the maestro and his artisans in the furnace. The final result always has an element of surprise, which makes every single piece unique. This is also part of the magic of glass.
What are your sources of inspiration for the Micheluzzi Glass collections?
We are undoubtedly inspired by the atmosphere of theplaces we lived and were raised in: Venice, the lagoon, and its colors. Our personal experience with glass is another source of inspiration for our work. We grew up surrounded by many glass objects in our house, therefore it is only natural for us to use them in any way possible, whether as flower pots, boxes, candleholders, or centerpieces. We wanted to recreate this feeling in our vases, which are conceived to be 'lived-in' and not just as purely decorative objects, but also functional, however priceless. Our creations are also designed to be mixed and combined in groups. The variety of shapes, colors, and processes used allows for diverse compositions that highlight the singularity of each individual piece and the evolution of our artistic project.
All Micheluzzi Glass pieces are handcrafted using several glass-making techniques. Which is your favorite and why?
Our approach and aesthetics are very personal and contemporary but the creative process remains faithful to traditional techniques. The glass takes shape in the fire, molded by hand while in its incandescent state using the blowing technique. In some cases, the glass is subsequently worked after being cooled down, engraved with diamond wheels that sculpt the now-hardened surface. The Murano “cold” engraving technique, which distinguishes much of our work, allows us to create facets that produce light reflections similar to those of light on water. The transition from fire to water, the combination of hot and cold work, is precisely one of the most surprising aspects of this material and its process.
As young women, what is your hope for the future direction of craftsmanship in Venice?
The millenary tradition of glassmaking and the experience and skills of Murano glass masters are precious treasures that must be preserved and passed down to younger generations. This is why we think it is important that this craft, like many others, be communicated in a language young people can relate to, one that is capable of energizing and engaging them. The biggest challenge for us is to carry on this tradition, pass on the heritage, keep it alive, injecting it with energy and new ideas without ever losing sight of its origins and core values. As we got involved into the world of glass and gradually became apart of Venice’s creative community, we realized how many initiatives and businesses - even from young people - gravitate around glass. We hope that more and more young people will rediscover the value of craftsmanship, whether by undertaking this craft, exploring new ways of collaborating, or opening up to new channels and tools to communicate and promote it.
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