Make A Wish in Venice – IN TIME PEOPLE



MAKE A WISH IN VENICE By Giovanna Caprioglio


The art of glass, mosaic, embroidery and lace, fabrics, jewels… Venice has always been famous around the world for its craftsmen, whose works have passed through the doors of real palaces and museums. Today, the city still jealously guards these marvellous traditions, an ever-changing cultural heritage that does not stop with the great historical names, but is also cul- tivated by a talented niche of contemporary artisans who have succeeded in reinterpreting this centuries-old heritage with very personal styles.

Many of them, and this is no coincidence, have their shops in an area still protected from mass tourism but frequented by art enthusiasts, who find many galleries here, as well as Palazzo Grassi, one of the most important temporary exhibition venues in the city and with a particular vocation for contemporary art.

The area we are talking about is San Samuele, just a short walk from the Accademia Bridge, but just off the tourist route to San Marco. This is where many have decided to set up shop, while others in this area have always been there. Like Alessandro Palwer, a Roman in origin but now Venetian by adoption, after spending many years in Paris in important fashion houses. His elegant creations adopt an informal touch that makes them timeless, and range from classic linked chains, echoed in his rings or matched with diamonds and leather in bracelets, and in rounded forms for rings that “safeguard” diamonds. Other works include the emer- ald-cut smoky quartz set on a intricate play of curves.

In his shop window during the Venice Glass Week there was a wonderful repro- duction of Canova’s sculpture of Paola Borghese in white glass, a work by the multi-talented Giberto Arrivabene Gonza– ga, who with the brand Giberto produces glasses, jugs and other glass objects in Murano. These very original sculp- tures, offered in different colours and presented at the 2016 Architecture Biennale, are now accompanied by Augusto, the reproduction of a Roman bust made using the lost wax technique and which combines glass and bronze.

Also during the Venice Glass Week, the Galleria Alma Zevi in Salizzada exhibited a work by Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda, a talented creator who with his brand called Laguna B interprets Murano glass in a strongly contemporary way, in memory of his mother Marie, to whom he has dedicated an international contest, Un Goto per Venezia, in collaboration with the Museo del Vetro.

A few steps away, there is Chiarastella Cattana, another Venetian by adoption, who has instead followed a passion for weaving, and after long re- search into the Italian textile tradition, opened her shop – initially small but now larger but still in her beloved Salizzada – where she sells small artworks of the finest manufacture: tablecloths, curtains, towels, bedspreads and cushions made of natural fibres and designed to be unique and highly customisable.

But not all Venetian craftsmanship is concentrated in these few square metres. Movingaway from Salizzada towards Rialto, in Calle della Mandola, a new workshop dedicated to the production of leather accessories, Quorami, has sought to pay homage to the Venetian tradition of “furlane” slippers originally used by gondoliers, reproducing them in black or coloured leather and transforming them into proper shoes.

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