A few years ago, my wife Bianca told me a beautiful tale. One morning, while walking the kids to school, they crossed the San Stae bridge and looked at the boats that were moored to the bricole in the rio, the Venetian name for the many tiny canals that stream through Venice’s islands. Our daughter Mafalda, then 7 or 8 years old, asked her if the bricole, the wooden poles to which the boats are tied, are born and grow in the water.
Since then the bricole, now known in our family as the poles that naturally sprout from the lagoon’s water, have acquired an even stronger importance than the importance they already have in our daily life as Venetians. They are fundamental to tie our boats, to show us the way throughout the lagoon, and to represent the families’ colors in front of their homes on the canals.
This glass is dedicated to the Bricola, an icon of Venetian life.
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.