Tuesday September 12, 2017 | by Joseph Modica

EXHIBITION: Notable design collaboration among the over-140 events at first-ever Venice Glass Week

FILED UNDER: Design, Exhibition, New Work, News

Lending their shape and form, insects are the basis of a new collection by two Italian designers who seek to capture the marriage between design and nature in glass objects. The “Metamorphosis“ collection is a result of the collaboration between two artists, Camilla Brunelli and Simone Crestani. Using delicately blown glass vessels, the artists sought to capture the rigidity and translucence of shed insect exoskeletons. Running through September 17, the exhibition is taking place as part of Venice Glass Week, where it is being shown at the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi on Venice's Grand Canal. The event is the first iteration of a brand-new international glass event with a focus on Murano glassmaking. Opening September 10, 2017, and running through the 17th, the week includes over 140 events paying tribute to Venice and Murano's rich history involving glass. including conferences, exhibits, and educational activities. The "Metamorphosis" exhibition is part of this much-larger festival of Italian glass art, design and history which celebrates one of Venice's most influential artistic exports.

“When insects molt their exoskeleton, it's soft at first so they can stretch it from within at maximum size. It then sclerotizes, becomes rigid, just like in glass blowing.” said Brunelli.

Brunelli is an artist from Verona who specializes in design. A rough concept was presented under the title “Molt” by Salone Satellite in 2016. Shortly thereafter, Brunelli reached out to Crestani, an artist who has been working with glass for 17 years, and together they presented three pieces in Salone Satellite 2017. These pieces caught the interest of EditaMateria, a studio specializing in designs of nature and culture using Italian material and techniques. Their collaboration further refined the concept of "Molt" into “Metamorphosis.”

Each bottle and vase is blown to personify an insect’s shape, and crowned with elements that define the insect it drew inspiration from. The affixed insects are shaped in a style reminiscent of textbooks from 19th-century entomological literature, where accuracy and comprehension are just as important as artistic merit. The designer's fascination with how nature and culture interact in both a natural and artificial world is the driving force behind her artwork.

“I find it intriguing how sometimes the very same categories, apply to both artificial objects and living creatures. This is very explicit in Encyclopedias, a fundamental cultural tool. I was flipping through one when the concept came to life as a: “what if beetle's exoskeletons were in fact kinds of bottles?”

Despite usually working solo, Brunelli finds her new collaboration with Crestani and EditaMateria a “blessing,” with all three entities working together to meet a common vision.

“Metamorphosis” is just one of the many events featured in the week-long celebration of glass design taking place through September 17, 2017.


Camilla Brunelli & Simone Crestani in collaboration with EditaMateria 
September 10th - September 17th 2017
T Fondaco dei Tedeschi
Calle del Fontego, 30100 Venezia (primo piano)
Venice, Italy

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.