Blowing Murano Marvels
Interview with the artisan. A look at the tradition of the artistic Murano glass by Studio Salvadore.
by Valia Barriello
Two brothers and an antique craft passed down from their father: the artistic glassmaking from Murano. We are talking about Marco and Mattia Salvadore, who as children, learned the art of glassmaking from their father, Davide Salvadore. In addition to different techniques, the Salvadore brothers also inherited the passion for this iridescent, bright and versatile material which inspired them to start their own business under the name of Studio Salvadore. Experimenting with different shapes and colors, the Salvadore brothers turn the precious Murano glass into unique art pieces.
ARTEMEST: When did you start your artistic activity and how did it turn into a passion?
STUDIO SALVADORE: We started working together about ten years ago at our father’s company. Driven by the desire to work on personal projects, in 2012 we opened our studio in Murano called Studio Salvadore.
A: You learned the process of glassmaking from your father. Do you intend to keep this tradition alive and pass it on to future generations?
SS: Of course. The art of making glass is a craft but also a passion, and as such it motivates us to share the experiences and know-how with others.
A: How important are the artisanal and artistic craft today?
SS: The real importance of a job like ours lies in its history and roots, it represents a cultural heritage that must be protected and remembered. Our goal is to keep these forms of expression alive and relevant and thus prevent them from being erased from our collective memory.
A: You work as a duo, are the roles strictly divided? Does one focus on the technical aspects while the other is more involved in the creative process?
SS: It’s an ongoing dialog and it’s the only constant in our work. For all the rest, there are no fixed roles and the way we create changes all the time.
A: What’s the inspiration behind your work?
SS: The color as an expression of interaction through the light. The way it brings things together but also separates them. This is why we find inspiration everywhere.
A: What is the most difficult part of the process when working with glass? And are there any risks throughout the process?
SS: Perhaps the most difficult task is to find the will to try again when things don’t go your way. There are no manuals on how to create works of art from glass so the result of our work is always unpredictable. Every single item we produce requires great training and preparation. Working with my brother when he has as a particularly bad day can be a bit risky at times.
A:Has the growing interest in the craftsmanship benefited you in any way?
SS: Absolutely. This trend has created curiosity and desire of the public to learn more about our work. In addition, if we consider the infinite possibilities of collecting information through the Internet, then it is easy to see that now there is less possibility for a commercial success based solely on ferocious and misleading advertising.
A: Who are your main customers?
SS: Luckily we don’t have one main type of customer. Having said that, our customers are usually already prepared and well informed about our work before even approaching us.
A: Are there still people interested in learning this craft? Do you train apprentices or organize workshops?
SS: There are many people of all nationalities interested in learning this craft, and apprentices are a very important component of our work. In our studio we organize internships and we frequently hold workshops in English in different parts of the world.
A: Future projects?
SS:We are renovating an old shop in Murano which will become our new studio. This will allow us to intensify the training and promotion of the art of making glass.
About the author Valia Barriello is an architect and Professor of Design. Her work is based in Milan where she also makes her own designs as well as collaborating with editorials.