Mina is a classic octagonal mould-blown glass tapering to a round base which softens the severe geometry of the upper part. The glass is finished with the hot application of a band of thicker glass around the stem and a thin ruby lip round the hexagon with a pendant ‘teardrop’.
The superimposition of the material plays with the varying chromatic densities of the glass, moving from the barely perceptible crimson of the body to the deep scarlet of the hot finishing.
Mina is an anomaly in Giberto’s collection because “I’m not in love with stems, but a friend asked me particularly for a goblet with one – though I managed to get away with the bare minimum!”
The result is an exquisite object, timeless even – not that far away from the elegant blown goblets we see in Tintoretto’s Last Supper.
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.