Of the Giberto collections, the Alessandrite is the magical one: “When walking through the furnace in Murano on a bright sunny day, a beautiful purple caught my eye. It was a batch of cotisso (the leftover pieces of glass after it has been blown) in a marvellous violet. Once I picked a piece of cotisso up I realised the warm color changed into a glacial ice blue with hues of grey when under a colder light. I was mesmerised by the alexandrite glass and thought it would be perfect for my collection”.
The Alessandrite is a large glass, slightly flared, hand blown in alexandrite Murano glass and finished with a glass paste red rim, which is heat sealed. Because of its dimensions, it’s ideal for cocktails, a beer or any sort of soft drink. It can also be used as a fun toothbrush holder or nightstand water glass.
The life of Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga is viscerally linked to Venice. His childhood memories, the most beautiful, are those that have taken place in the rooms of Palazzo Papadopoli, between frescoes of Tiepolo and family affection. “In my earliest memories Venice had other colours. It was more obscure, dramatic, decayed and deeply romantic – simply beautiful. There wasn’t the same light like there is today – more dazzling perhaps, but less poetic.”
Each piece derives from a watercolour sketch made by Giberto on tracing paper: “When I see something that inspires me, or an object that I like, I sketch and rework it – then move on to the realization of it.”
The glass, the main material in the collections, is worked exclusively in Murano. Each glass, each specific object, is blown by master glassmakers in the Venetian furnaces.
Giberto takes his watercolours to discuss with them and refine the project, check its feasibility, and to make eventual changes.