Paolo Venini (1895 – 1959) Italian Glassware Designer

Ashtrays designed by Paolo Venini

Paolo Venini (1895 – 1959) was an Italian glassware designer and maker.

Biography

From 1921, he worked as a glassmaker in Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Cappelin-Venini with Venetian antique trader Giacomo Cappelin, Andrea Rioda, and Vittorio Zecchin. Zecchin, a well-known painter, decorator, and glass designer, was named creative and technical director.

First Modern Glass Style

Venini and sculptor Napoleone Martinuzzi founded their own glass business in Murano in 1925. He created in a plain, functional style; subsequently, he interpreted Modernism (or Novecento) in a livelier and more innovative way than northern Europe, creating the first Modern glass style.

Hired Freelance Designers

Murano glassware was historically decorated with opulent rubies and gold and fanciful forms in vibrant colours. He hired freelance designers like Martinuzzi and Fulvio Bianconi regularly. Gio Ponti from 1927, Carlo Scarpa from 1932, Eugene Berman from 1951, Ken Scott from 1951, Franco Albini from 1954, and Massimo Vignelli from 1956 were the designers he commissioned.

He showed bottles by Ponti and Bianconi named Morandiennes, made of double-coloured cane, an extruded glass element, at the 1956 Biennale di Venezia. Another popular method was vetro a fili (glass with lines), which used colourful glass rods implanted in a technique called zanfirico to produce stripes.

Vetro Pezzato Process

In 1950, he created a patchwork effect with his vetro pezzato process, which used squares of varied colours to create a patchwork pattern. The vaso fassoletto (handkerchief vase) by Bianconi was one of Venini’s most well-known 1950s forms. A square of thin glass was melted over a form to create a wavy-edged bowl. Its amusing figurines were made on the spur of the moment during hot-glass experiments. Paolo Venini’s unique glassware had a liveliness from direct engagement with the glassmaking process, which was not common in northern Europe, where artisans executed designers’ ideas.

Following his death, his widow Ginette Venini and son-in-law Ludovico de Santillana took over the firm’s management. They commissioned designers such as Tobia Scarpa and Tapio Wirkkala.

Recognition

Achieved initial success at 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internation- ale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.’ Work shown at 1923 (I) Monza Biennale, 1933 (V) Triennale di Milano, and at 1956 Biennale di Venezia. Work subject of the 1981 ‘Venini Glass’ exhibition, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. The vetro pezzato glassware and vessels by Tobia Scarpa and Wirkkala were included in the 1983—84 “Design Since 1945′ exhibition, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

More Glassware and Designers

  • Benny Anette Motzfeldt (1909-1995) Norwegian graphic artist, designer

    Benny Motzfeldt (1909-95), vases for Randsfjord and Plus

    Motzfeldt is best known for her glass creations. Her work is on show at the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Kunstindustrimuseum in Copenhagen, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, and the Frauenau Glass Museum in Germany (donation Wolfgang Kermer). Read More →

  • Etsuko Nishi (b.1955) Japanese Glass Designer

    Etsuko Nishi Japanese Glass Designer

    Etsuko Nishi is a Japanese Glass Designer. She is a leading expert in pâte de verre, one of the oldest and most difficult glass-making forms. The desired shape is first made of clay, which is used as the basis for the mould. The glass powder is then mixed with a special type of paste, and the mixture is then placed in the mould and then fired.Read More →

  • Paolo Venini (1895 – 1959) Italian Glassware Designer

    Murano glassware was historically decorated with opulent rubies and gold and fanciful forms in vibrant colours. He hired freelance designers like Martinuzzi and Fulvio Bianconi regularly. Gio Ponti from 1927, Carlo Scarpa from 1932, Eugene Berman from 1951, Ken Scott from 1951, Franco Albini from 1954, and Massimo Vignelli from 1956 were the designers he commissioned.Read More →

  • Teruo Yamada (b.1945) Japanese Glassware Designer

    Teruo Yamada Japanese Glassware

    His work was shown at 1980 ‘Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition,’ Tokyo; 1981 and 1990 ‘Glass in Japan,’ Tokyo; 1985 ‘New Glass in Japan,’ Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe; 1987 ‘The Art of Contemporary Japanese Studio Glass,’ Heller Gallery, New York; 1991 (V) Triennale of the Japan Glass Art Crafts Association, Heller Gallery.Read More →

  • Yuri Masaki Japanese glass designer

    Yuri Masaki Japanese Glass Designer

    Yuri Masaki is a Japanese glass designer she was president of the Masaki Glass and Art Studio. Her work was included in 1987 and 1990…Read More →

  • Vicke Lindstrand (1904- 1983) Swedish glassware designer

    Vicke Lindstrand featured image

    He worked at Kariskrona Porslinsfabrik from 1935 to 1936; at Upsala-Ekeby from 1936 to 1950 (as art director from 1943 to 1950) Kosta Boda glassworks from 1950 to 1973, where he was design director while also maintaining his studio in Arhus. Often, his free-form work was engraved.Read More →

  • Per Lütken (1916 – 1988) Danish Glassware Designer

    Set of Ten Holmgaard Glassby Per Lütken

    Lütken was the principal designer at Kastrup & Holmegard Glasverk from 1942 to 1945, where he adopted his predecessor Jacob Bang’s Modern shapes. In the 1950s, he implemented considerable improvements in manufacturing and aesthetic at Holmegard, inspired by the Triennali di Milano. His pieces featured fluid forms in light-coloured glass, some of which had satin-finish etching. He used heated metal to sculpt created glass.Read More →

  • Kosta Boda Swedish glass manufacturer

    Kosta Boda Glassware featured image

    Kosta Boda, for much of its early life, this famous Swedish glassmaking company’s production centred on drinking glasses, chandeliers, and window panes. However, in the late nineteenth century, with the employment of designers such as Alf Wallander and Gunnar Wennenberg, a more concerted design policy emerged, resulting in more fashionable, Art Nouveau-inspired products.Read More →

  • What is the difference between a wine decanter and carafe? 🍷

    Wine Decanter featured image

    When you serve wine in a decanter or carafe rather than directly from the bottle, you can completely appreciate its full potential, but why? The wine can oxygenate and aerate, allowing the wine to breathe after being sealed in a bottle for so long. A wine decanter has a reputation for being a formal and refined means of serving wine. However, this isn’t always the case.Read More →

  • Spell on You by Louis Vuitton – Design Elegance

    The most thrilling of all games is passionate love. Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud was inspired to create a romantic, naughty fragrance that becomes one with the skin by the incredible tension oscillating between sensuality and complicity. Read More →

  • Masakichi Awashima (1914 – 1979) Japanese Glassware Designer

    Vegetable Dish 1955Designed by Masakichi Awashima

    After studying design at the Japan Art School in Tokyo, Awashima worked for artisan Kozo Kagami, who had studied Western glass methods in Germany from 1935 to 1946. Read More →

  • Jean Sala (1895 – 1976) Spanish glassmaker and designer

    Jean Sala featured image

    He was primarily taught by his glassblower father and is now regarded as one of the most accomplished Art Deco glass artists. Read More →

  • Quezel an American glassware company

    Quezel Glassware

    Martin Bach and Thomas Johnson, Tiffany’s former glass mixer and foreman, started Quezel Art Glass and Decorating in Brooklyn in 1901. Many pieces of lustrous and ‘favrile’ glassware were manufactured by Bach and Johnson.Read More →

  • Arttu Brummer (1891 – 1951) Finnish interior and glassware designer

    Arttu Brummer glassware

    Arttu Brummer was a Finnish interior and glassware designer. Brummer set up his own interior design office in 1913. Read More →

  • Ajeto Glassworks – Czech Republic

    Ajeto Glassworks featured image

    Ajeto Glassworks – Czech Republic. Borek Spek, a renowned Czech designer, and Petr Novotny, a talented young glassblower, formed this glass company in 1989 Read More →

  • Simon Gate (1883 – 1945) Swedish artisan and designer

    Simon Gate featured image

    Gate began his long affiliation with the Swedish glassmaking firm Orrefors in 1916. He worked as an artistic director and built the firm foundation for Sweden’sSweden’s substantial modern glass industry, alongside Edvard Hald, Vicke Lindstrand, Knut Bergqvist, and others.Read More →

  • William Blenko (1854 – 1926) and Blenko Glassware

    William John Blenko (1854-1926) was British glassmaker. He completed his apprenticeship in a London bottle factory at the age of 10 and studied French and chemistry at night school. In 1890, he introduced Norman slab-type stained glass for a Norfolk church. Read More →

  • Jacques Gruber (1870 – 1936) French Stained Glass artist and designer

    Jacques Gruber stained glass window

    Jacques Gruber (1870-1936) was a French stained-glass artist, designer, and teacher, born Sundhausen, Alsace. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Gustave Moreau. He was distinguished as a designer in the Art Nouveau idiom. Read More →

  • Flavio Poli (1900 – 1984) Italian designer of glassware

    Flavio Poli red vase featured image

    Flavio Poli (1900 – 1984) was an Italian designer of glassware. He was born in Chioggia and worked in Venice professionally. He was born in 1900 and studied art at the Istituto d’Arte di Venezia before working as a ceramicist.Read More →

  • Jean Luce – french ceramicist and glassware designer

    French designer. He worked primarily in ceramics, but also designed for glass and gold. His ceramics, in an Art Deco style, were manufactured in Limoges Read More →

❤️ Receive our newsletter

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.