L'Arte del Vetro Grezzo

A selection of glass works inspired by the techniques and world of the Venetian glass masters

On the occasion of the Venice Glass Week 2023, and as an initiative of the Fondation Etrillard (Geneva), the Fondazione dell'Albero d'Oro (Venice) and the Swiss manufacturer ALCO, this project aims to combine knowhow and creativity. Thanks to this support, eighteen students from the Master in Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship from the ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne have had the unique opportunity to meet and work with Murano-based Master glassmakers.

This research project began with a visit of manufactures on the Venetian island, internationally renowned for its glassmaking history. During one week the students have had the chance to meet a number of artisans and discover with them ancient production techniques. At the heart of these prestigious factories, every detail is potentially transformed into a source of inspiration: a tool, raw blocks of glass, scraps accumulated in containers or blown glass pieces stacked for decades on wooden shelves.

As well as the techniques and creative worlds that emerged from these workshops, the inspiration also came from life in Venice, which many of the students (from ten different nationalities) were discovering for the first time: the omnipresence of water, the colours and reflections, the erosion of materials and the contrast between the different elements.

The work of the students, under the guidance of designer Ini Archibong, led to the selection of five concepts, grouped together in works made from raw materials. In the form of 'ready-mades', the aim of this exhibition is to capture the history and skills of the Master glassmakers through creative compositions featuring simple rods, plates or blocks of glass, produced in Murano using specific processes handed down from generation to generation.

Fondazione dell’Abero d’Oro

Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro was born in 2019 with the aim of giving life and soul to Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, historical home overlooking the Grand Canal, property of illustrious Venetian families and 18th-century residence of the Doge Pietro Grimani. Opened to the public in 2021, Palazzo Vendramin Grimani is today the headquarters of the Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro, which, together with its patrons, intends to transform the historic residence into a proper living observatory, a new place of transmission, study and artistic and cultural interaction open to all those who love, live in and visit Venice, both residents, students and international travelers.

The Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro offers a wide range of activities throughout the year, mainly by creating and presenting exhibitions, organising events, conferences, debates and book presentations, and meetings between various players in Venetian academic and cultural life.

Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, a residence on the Grand Canal and a window on the world, is open to artists in residence who see this city as a reference point of departure and arrival of a journey – real or imaginary – that unites the East and the West.

Director Beatrice de Reyniès

Communication manager Anna Mistrorigo

Digital communication manager Adeline Spriet

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne

ECAL is regularly ranked among the top 10 art and design schools in the world. The school’s influence is attested to by the success of its graduates, countless press articles and awards, and a large number of exhibitions in prestigious venues. ECAL offers a foundation year, six BA programmes and seven MA/MAS programmes in Visual Arts, Film Studies, Graphic Design, Media & Interaction Design, Photography, Industrial & Product Design, Type Design, Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship and Design Research for Digital Innovation (with the EPFL+ECAL Lab).

Director Alexis Georgacopoulos

Head of MAS DLC Nicolas Le Moigne

Professor Ini Archibong

Students Morgane Chiron (Canada), Hyeseung Nam (South Korea), Anaïs Sulmoni (Switzerland), Ambre Tuttle (France), Céline Witzke (Switzerland)

ALCO / Murano Glass Technology

Born from the fusion between the ancient art of Murano’s Masters glass blowers and more than two centuries of technical savoir-faire of ALCO Switzerland in field of surface and materials technologies, Murano Glass Technology develops and manufactures technical and decoration components for watch, jewelry, fashion and design industries based on original Murano glass. All our craftswomen and men blowing and fashioning our semi-finished products are certified by the “Vetro Artistico® Murano” label granted by Regione Veneto, exclusive owner of the trademark.

Director George L. Rauccio

Project Manager Victoria Rauccio

Project coordinator Renata Ferrari (Murano Glass Technology)

Master glassmakers Simone Cenedese, Renata Ferrari, Luciano Gambaro, Simone Mian, Nicola Moretti

Fondation Etrillard

As it is a source of inspiration for every generation, the Fondation Etrillard aims to shine a light on the relevance of our European cultural heritage in today’s world. By participating in the preservation of exceptional sites, encouraging the passing on of knowledge, and supporting cultural rediscovery,the Foundation fosters creativity and audacity to generate emotions and sharing.

The Foundation is engaged in projects supporting the sustainability and development of expertise in crafts and restoration skills. It is committed to knowledge transfer through education, information and hands-on practice. Through links with renowned schools, professional organisations and cultural institutions, the Foundation facilitates intergenerational transfer, essential for perpetuating traditional European expertise.

President Gilles Etrillard

Executive Officer Miguel Pérez de Guzmán

Communication manager Raphaëlle Sabouraud