Thursday, 20 September 2012

Venice Part Two - The Murano Glass come back

Murano glass is made on the island of Murano, Venice Italy and for centuries has been world famous for its exquisite quality, fabulous colours and unsurpassed craftsmanship

Why is Murano glass so rare and valuable?

Without giving you a history lesson, here are 4 facts you may not have known about Murano Glass:

1. In the 14th Century, Murano glass was such a coveted commodity that glass masters were treated like royalty. This however came at a high price. The city wanted to keep the extremely profitable trade to itself and  forbade glass masters to ever leave the island threatening death to anyone who left the Republic of Venice. 

2. Unfortunately these days you can find reproductions of Murano glass posed as originals right in the center of Venice. Its sad to say that not all the glass in Venice is even made in Europe! The only way to tell is to ask for a certificate of Authenticity or to look for the Vetro Artistico di Murano label which is only granted to registered manufacturers.

3. The gold colour you find on some pieces of Murano glass is made from real gold leaf.

4. Murano glass was the first of its kind to create crystal clear glass. Void of bubbles and impurities, it is still one of the tell tale signs to good glass craftsmanship today

Murano glass in the 20th Century

One of my favourite 20th Century Murano glass designers is Nason Moretti which was established in 1923. Their modern contemporary designs and coloured creations were ahead of there time and are still noted as great designs today. Have a look at the below objects to see for yourself.

The above lamp titled 1923 was the first object designed and produced for the glass house. It is still produced today and is one of the most popular items from their collection.

The Dandy water glasses are by far my favourite items because of the amazing range of vibrant colours. The glasses are also formed to fit your hand which give them an organic shape made for a perfect purpose.

The Dandy Water Jug designed in 2011

A photo cant do the these glasses justice with the white and grey filigree texture and thin layer upon layer of pristine clear glass. Also available in stemware which can be viewed on a beautifully set table below.

This image was posted on Shamgreene

Where to buy Nason Moretti?
If you are visiting the Island of Murano, I would suggest you visit the store Elle Elle Murano. They are very friendly and patient too (which is important when you are investing is such a key art piece). 

Now don't despair if you think you cant ever own a piece of original Murano art. Elle Elle Murano also sell sample glass, which is basically the colour tests made by the glass masters each day to ensure the consistency. These vibrant raindrop creations cost as little as 40 Euros and look amazing when hung in a collection together. Here is a photo I took of the sample glass displayed in their front window.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Venice: Part One - Murano Jewellery

Recently I visited Italy and spent much of my time in the beautiful city of Venice. On the surface the city is full of international tourists and shop after shop of cartoon-like glass figurines but if you look deeper and take the time to understand its history, you might be surprised. 

I must be honest, I have visited the city many times and each time was much the same....San Marco Square, Murano glass factories, gondola rides etc but this time I travelled with a local and a saw a whole new world (sorry for the cliche).

Over the next few weeks I am going to share some of my favourite experiences, starting with the Island of Murano. First stop is my most favourite Murano glass jewellery brand Elma Venezia, which captures modern elegance using simple classic tradition.

Elma Venezia
By far the most elegant, timeless and wearable glass jewellery I have ever seen. I couldn't resist taking a few pieces home with me and every time I wear them, I feel like I am wearing rare exotic jewels fit for royalty.

Elma Venezia was born from the devotion of saving a thousand year old tradition of craftmanship and skills passed down through generations of families. Each individual glass bead has been hand selected based on its rare materials, intesity of colour and individual characteristic which can only be achieved by hand.

Each piece has limited availability and changes seasonably depending on the European fashion trends. Check out some of the Spring/Summer collection with its bold vibrant colours or stick to the simple elegance of blacks and metallics which are also big for 2012.

Now Available in Australia
Lucky for us, Elma Venezia is reaching out to us Aussies and after many glasses of Prosecco, I can now announce that the jewellery house will be selling direct to the Australian market via our design store Zavara and selected boutique art galleries and jewellers throughout the East Coast. 

In addition, the jewellery house has opened a custom division, for the customer who is looking for the piece that's one of kind.

Next week... More tips and tricks when travelling in Venice, followed buy a feature on Murano Glass House, Nason Moretti.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Spring into Symmetry

If you are like me you are loving the bright colours and patterns coming out this year. Spring/summer 2012 is no exception to this, in particular the retro scandy style of geometric or chevron patterns. Here's a few pics to inspire you for the first Monday of Spring.

Photo sourced from Swirls of Pearls

Photo sourced from This is Glamorous; photography by Douglas Friedman, Living Etc