The collaboration between Barovier&Toso and Luca Nichetto | Nichetto Studio has produced two unique collections with a powerful contemporary aesthetic, driven by research on novel creative and productive solutions
To safeguard the art of glass. This has been the mission of Barovier&Toso for 700 years. A long-time span that covers different eras, historical events and generations… all of which have left their mark. Art, in fact, is a living entity that absorbs and makes its own impact, in turn. But to accomplish this, it requires much more than mere guardians. It must rely on interpreters, influential and charismatic personalities, and courageous guidance. Only by blazing new trails, by exploring innovative solutions, can the art of glass continue to vibrate with life, to trigger emotions.
For about one year now, the company has been working on a special project, rethinking the processes of production and blowing of glass that are usually considered “untouchable” in Murano. The intense research and development work has led to the formulation of a totally innovative method, resulting in two ground-breaking collections, avant-garde in character but also developed to fit perfectly into the company’s catalogue.
Vallonné and Vallonné Opale are the new lines of suspension lamps in Venetian Crystal, mouth blown and crafted by hand. They bear the signature of Luca Nichetto | Nichetto Studio and are the result of a versatile, combinatory approach.
This has been a very satisfying collaboration, because we were not asked to engage in a stylistic exercise, but to make innovation the focal point of the project. The company has taken risks, leaving the possibility of wide-ranging experimentation wide open, also by rethinking some of the main tenets of the tradition. The result has been a brilliant synergy.
Vallonné means “hilly” in French, and the term aptly describes the organic forms of the new collections: a reference to the soft curves sculpted by nature, offering an incredible variety of constantly changing landscapes. Master glassmakers are also called upon to shape unique but repeatable works in glass, incorporating the little differences that reveal their identity of craftsmanship. The Vallonné collections, in particular, underscore the gesture of glassblowing, managing to “crystallize” that moment as has never been done before, making it eternal.
A snapshot that is not easy to capture. In fact, the genesis of these forms is very complex, with a fascinating background the observer can only begin to imagine. Action/reaction, expansion/retraction: Luca Nichetto | Nichetto Studio’s idea of the design stems from this system of forces and tensions. Breath is energy, a powerful tool capable of granting the hot vitreous mass form and structure. The glass, by nature, expands, takes shape, gains volume, absorbing that air, trapping it inside. Barovier&Toso has made two collections that emphasize this characteristic of the material, bringing out its sculptural character.
The surfaces of the object reveal a precise pattern of lines and incisions, bringing out a sequence of expansions through various geometric shapes. In the collective imagination, these forms suggest the presence of a metal cage, usually utilized to make the piece and then to remain embedded inside it. The company has been able to get beyond this concept, to avoid the presence of the cage, developing two models with a lively, evocative but forcefully contemporary design. These models are shared by the two collections, marked by vertical extension and a symmetrical overlay of swelling, vaporous volumes, with harmonious, elegant proportions. Individually, each of these suspension lamps has great expressive and luminous force, which also makes them perfect for configuration in rows or clusters of exceptional theatrical impact.
In the Vallonné collection, the lamps are in transparent crystal and contain a tapered core of glass that conceals the light source.
Vallonné Opale, on the other hand, is made with the jacketing technique, with an opaline, milky external effect that spreads light gently.
The metallic finishes are available in two types: black chrome and honey bronze. Crystal, indigo, periwinkle and sand are the colour options chosen for the glass of Vallonné, alongside jacketed white for Vallonné Opale. The palette of hues has been developed by Luca Nichetto | Nichetto Studio to give the collections multiple personalities: classic, discreet, eccentric, for combinations that range all the way to Pop effects. Another characteristic shared by the two collections is a shaded effect, the natural result of the production process of Vallonné.
The contrast between ribbing and hollows adds a decorative feature to the design and accentuates its three-dimensional nature. This also happens because the colouring of the glass is less intense in the zones of stronger blowing, and more saturated where the thickness is greater. Flair and innovation remain the strong points of Barovier&Toso, always striving to catch the interest and curiosity of a demanding international audience for its creations – an audience that knows how to recognize the value of truly precious things.