Carlotta Gabbiani surprises! Smiling, cheerful and yet a deep thinker and creative in her career as a designer of artistic glass and director of the family business. Already this description should be enough for one life, but then talking to her it turns out that she is also veterinarian and loves animals deeply. Incredible!
Carlotta Gabbiani, as a young designer in a well known Venetian family, the Gabbiani, learned the love for glass and its magic. Her mother Marina Ravagnan is an artist and has been her teacher: she has learned the wisdom of how to touch and work the glass, so “fragile and delicate like Venice.”
We met Carlotta Gabbiani at Palazzo Bragadin, historical residence where Giacomo Canova lived as a refugee when he escaped from Piombi. It is opposite the ancient home of Marco Polo. Part of the artisanal treasures of the Gabbiani family is rooted in the palace, while the other is in Murano where the ovens give life to the creations in glass.
Carlotta Gabbiani, you come from a family with a tradition in glass art and your training is very eclectic …
Our family has worked glass for over 50 years. While the family of my father were traders, in the spice business from the East, the family of my mother has always been artists. I breathed art as a child growing up with my brother in a ‘museum’ more than in a home for children.
My brother followed the family in the glass business so I became a veterinary in Bologna with a major in acupuncture. Then he moved to Shanghai 15 years ago, and I joined the company to take on various roles.
The job of designer seemed natural to me: from the first jewelry collection in glass, now I dedicate myself to decoration and lighting, which is the hub of the business of the company. I drew part of the chandeliers for last catalog in classic and modern style. But I got my mother’s approval and this gave me a great satisfaction!
Carlotta, where do your creations come from?
Inactivity: when we are sitting in the boat and my brain is free to expand. The idea registers, I make the first sketches, I check my ideas with everybody, and then leave my drawings to the master glassmakers so that they can interpret them skillfully.
Venice is a magical place to be an artist in glass. Venice is by definition glass: it is the human being that is reflected in the water! This is a ‘transparent’ city, a collection of reflections and colours, but fragile as glass.
Connecting my love of animals with that for glass, means I live between the ephemeral and the ground. The open mind that I acquired guides me in creating works that reflect my intuitions. In the end, creation always gives me strong feelings.
What is special in the Gabbiani creations in artistic glass?
For us, Murano glass is above all passion for tradition. And it is complex to carry forward a company like ours in these days, because it is all done by hand!
When customers visit the furnace in Murano they are amazed! Only there do they understand the time and energy needed to create our works, all customized and some timeless in effort! Our achievements I find graceful in their combination of colours. They offer a moment of peace because they combine “Elegance and Beauty”.
Here, I wish to sell this to customers: the dream of knowing that a work was made for you and your needs and not in just any factory!
About the Interviewed:Carlotta Gabbiani
Glass designer of Murano, lover of Venice and of the world of animals