June 14, 2011
ANDO for VENINI's 90th anniversary
May 31, 2011 marked the 90th anniversary for Murano glass company VENINI. The special celebration was held in Punta della Dogana in Venice. VENINI unveiled "ANDO", a hand-made, blown glass sculpture designed by the world-famous Japanese Architect Tadao Ando.
The manufacturing of “ANDO” requires the contribution of one glass Master and four helpers for a number of hours, utilizing tools to shape the object, as they were used centuries ago.
The creation process begins with the fusion furnace that transforms the mineral sands into boiling magma, in which the fusion temperature gives the material a strong orange color. The glass “Master”, a title only received after at least twenty years of experience at the furnace, manually rotates the cane, so that the vitreous mass maintains the desired shape. During this process, the object must be continuously heated in order to continue the shaping. The temperature of the glass during all working stages cannot be under 800° C.
Once manufactured in the furnace, “ANDO” keeps a temperature of 500° – 600° C and must be cooled slowly, in order not to create internal tensions that can cause breakages. This slow cooling is realized in some furnaces of “recooking”, the so-called “muffle furnaces”. The work cools gradually inside the “muffle” for twenty-four hours.
Once "ANDO" has reached room temperature, the art-piece begins a cold-working stage called “grinding”. The “grinding” is a very important stage in the manufacturing of glass, of which there are many grinding techniques to create refined effects on glass surfaces. The grinding Master proceeds with slow and wise movements in order to complete the art-piece. Numerous grinding techniques are part of the historic and artistic heritage of VENINI, as well as the unique colors of VENINI, are handed down from generation to generation.
Perfect evidence of the ability in works of glass, “ANDO”, is an absolute synthesis between shape and chromatism.