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Venini and Marc Thorpe: Unity

Venini collaborated with architect and designer Marc Thorpe to create a collection of ten unique vessels, celebrating global cultural heritage.

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Venini collaborated with architect and industrial designer Marc Thorpe and created UNITY: a collection of ten unique edition vessels. The collaboration brings together multicultural references to craftsmanship legacies. It is both concerned with cultural confluences and global cultural heritage that bring us all together.

This has always been at the core of Thorpe’s artistic practice, and now marks Venini’s first collaboration with artisans from Senegal. In the collaboration, the aesthetic relation between two materials -glass and textile- and two design legacies -Senegal and Italy- are explored. The vessel’s silhouettes could equally evoke a traditional African headrest artifact or the playfulness of Italy’s Memphis design.

The vessel portion is blown by Venini’s master glassmakers and hand-cut using the cold glass cutting technique; Battuto. A surface finishing technique that originates from Murano. It imitates the ‘distressed’ effect of hammered metal. In glasswork, the painstaking process consists of surface facets made by precise moments over a metal wheel. The resulting surface texture highlights the depth of color in the glass.

The base is created using a metal frame providing a support structure for the threads that are woven across. The frame is wrapped with colored nylon threads, traditionally used for fishing nets, ten woven across vertically and horizontally to create the textile form.

In this sense, Thorpe placed Murano’s glassmaking tradition in direct conversation with Senegal’s weaving tradition. It symbolizes the shared humanity and pays homage to these countries’ impressive level of craftsmanship.


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