London gallery and shop Vessel this week announces an ambitious scheme that will bring together some of Britain’s top creative talent and Italian Murano glass producer Salviati.
The Salviati Meets London exhibition will give Ross Lovegrove, Future Systems’ Amanda Levete, Paul Cocksedge, Studio Dillon’s Jane Dillon and Tom Grieves, and Thomas Heatherwick the opportunity to produce ranges of limited-edition, blown-glass pieces to their own designs.
Vessel will display and sell the work in its Notting Hill space from 24 September.
‘We like to see ourselves as a catalyst in the design world, and we thought it would be nice to offer British designers the chance to work with blown glass,’ says Vessel co-owner and art director Angel Monzon.
He adds that the five participants have since December been collaborating with the project’s technical director Simon Moore, formerly head of Salviati’s design studio and creative director of Dartington Crystal.
They are currently working at the Royal College of Art, which is sponsoring the project through the use of its furnace.
However, later this month, they will spend three days at Salviati’s studios in Murano, where their designs will come to fruition.
‘I like the idea [of Salviati Meets London], because there isn’t much initiative at that level in London,’ says Lovegrove. He plans to create three polished, stainless steel sets for the exhibition, which will display up to five hand-blown sculptural ‘monoliths’ apiece.
‘I’m looking at reflection, organic sculptural forms – and pushing the material to its limits,’ he says. ‘It may be that I illuminate the pieces as well.’
Levete is producing ‘giant platters in folded, organic shapes’, while Cocksedge is developing lighting that will encompass a bead of mercury. ‘It will act as an on-off switch, depending on which way it’s tilted,’ says Monzon.
Heatherwick plans to create blown-glass furniture, and Dillon will experiment with the traditional technique Zanfirico, or filigree.
The first Salviati Meets London event was held by Vessel in 2000. Then, Anish Kapoor, Tom Dixon, Nigel Coates and Tord Boontje collaborated with Salviati – with both Dixon’s and Boontje’s work subsequently going into production.