Carnival season is almost over in Venice. The splendor of the palaces along the Grand Canal, the majesty of St. Mark’s Square and its gilded basilica, the bustling traffic on the waters of the lagoon are all major players, not just backdrops, which add to the unique flavor of the Venetian carnival. Magnificent costumes look paraded slowly, silently, and regally through the streets and squares of Venice. They are pausing to allow tourists to snap numerous photographs that will help them to bring back to places of the magic of Contemporary Venice.
The Carnaval in Venice – Artisans show their contemporary creations
Firstly, all is glittering and shining: from the rhinestones and silks of the costumes to the masks to the gilded interiors of palaces that can be admired from boats along the Grand Canal. The Contemporary artisans in their laboratories are intent on applying gold leaf to frames or other precious objects. Their stores are filled with shining or damask materials, glass tableware of all types, candelabra, lamps, and sparkling chandeliers.
But above all, is the plethora of glass jewelry, glittering in shops throughout Venice, around St. Mark’s Square at the Rialto Bridge, and even in less frequented back alleys.
Contemporary jewelry in Venice – Masters in Original Glassmaking
When I mentioned my interest in writing about the fine glass jewelry made in Venice, a friend of mine said “Yes, that’s fine as long as you are talking about Venice, Italy and not Venice, China”.
Nowadays, the truth is that much of the mass-produced glass jewelry on sale in Venice does not come from the nearby island of Murano. This is not to say that the jewelry is ugly, or that it is too expensive. They should be clearly aware that the objects do not come from Murano but rather from very much farther.
There is a well-founded suspicion about the oriental origin of much of the beads and jewelry on sale in Venice. In reality, it must be stressed that there are still many Venetian artisans who continue to follow centuries-old traditions. They pride themselves on the authenticity of the materials used in their creations. Modern-day artisans go far beyond just producing a string of colorful beads. Instead, they go to great lengths to interpret the materials with which they work to bring about a harmonious blend. The blend is a mix between authentic Venetian materials, contemporary creativity, and style-setting magic.
Daniele and Stefano Attombri – Contemporary Jewelry artists
For instance, among the artists who merit mention and admiration are the Attombri brothers, Daniele and Stefano. I wandered into their elegant shop nestled in a corner of Campo San Maurizio, near Campo Santo Stefano. The quiet elegance of their shop was a welcome and restful contrast to the flashy stores that sport mass-produced items. The brothers use only beads from Murano. In fact, many of them are antique beads as indicated by the guarantees which are provided.
Many years ago, the brothers were very forward-looking and purchased large quantities of beautiful antique Murano beads. All of these were meant for their future creations. They were not tempted by the more economical product from oriental sources. In fact, Stefano almost shuddered when he recounted his experience in visiting a 7-story shopping center in China.
In fact, Daniele and Stefano have been creating contemporary jewelry using traditional Venetian techniques for 20 years. Each art piece is unique, made completely by hand. The brothers Attombri themselves even make the delicate steel armatures to support their use of exclusively Murano glass.
Artistic designs, noticed by famous figures
Their contemporary designs got noticed by famous Italian stylists such as Dolce & Gabbana and published in well-known style magazines such as Vogue. The brothers have also exhibited their works nationally and internationally. In 2007 they had an exhibit in Bethesda, Maryland which was very successful, and it is planned to repeat the experience in 2008.
Furthermore, the brothers are pleasant, helpful and patient, and willing to spend the time necessary to help prospective clients find the item that best suits their needs.
Lastly, they find styles whether ranging from a relatively inexpensive creation to pieces of the highest standing. It is a pleasure to visit their shop and a unique experience of authentic Venetian tradition and art.
The Attombri Shop in Venice
When the Attombri brothers decided to start their activity and the shop, their inspiration didn’t come from magazines. It didn’t come either from blogs, or fashion shows. Their only goal was to provide customers contemporary, unique and original Venice-style creations. As Globetrotting artists, their main inspiration came from the people they had the luck to encounter during their travels. They created a new international style, according to the customers. While the whole world travels to Venice, they had the power to add a variety of creative styles to their pieces. By doing this, they gave prestige to the City of Venice, rather than sticking to cheap and low-quality products. Their shop is famous nowadays for all the artistic jewelry, and also for the multitude of workshops they are facilitating.
Finally, Their shop is located at San Polo, 65, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy and they also have a second one opened at Calle Larga S. Marco, 1178, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy.
By Paola Fortucci