NasonMoretti is one of the most refined artistic glassworks in Murano, the only one in the world to keep the secret of the creation of some colors and to have created dozens of iconic objects for the table in 100 years of history, today exhibited in its scenographic company Museum.
Founded by the brothers Ugo, Antonio, Giuseppe, Vincenzo and Umberto Nason, NasonMoretti was born in 1923, a symbolic date that corresponds to that of the design of the first lamp put into production, an original structure resting on three spheres and one of the first exhibits that welcome the guest in the recently inaugurated Museum of the Maison.
Located in a wing of the company’s Murano headquarters, the NasonMoretti Museum is a fantastic and colorful journey through 100 years of history of a brand that since its foundation has placed itself at the forefront of design and which, over the years, has become the protagonist of the tables of many royal houses and state palaces around the world.
In fact, since the post-war period, the Nason brothers preferred to abandon the classic forms of tableware to seek new stylistic figures, so much so that as early as 1955 Umberto Nason with the Lidia two-colored bowls and glasses, obtained thanks to the innovative technique of inverted jacketed glass (with colored interior and white exterior), wins the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award.
We turn to those who love beauty without ever being satisfied, pursuing value and elegance in our every daily gesture.
In addition to the pieces that have made the history of design also present at the MoMA in NY and inventions such as the Basculante boat glass, curved at the base so that it cannot fall down, the objects exhibited in the Museum that most intrigue us are those that testify the very close link between the art of glass and alchemical chemistry. Impossible not to notice the marvelous ampoule of an original almost fluorescent Uranium Yellow, a color that was created by combining uranium with the glass paste, or the large ivory glass with a marvelous opalescence obtained thanks to the addition of arsenic and lead, both substances no longer allowed today.
A creative drive that for NasonMoretti, now led by the cousins Marco, Piero and Giorgio Nason, does not stop only at the shapes, but also extends to the most secret recipes of Venetian artistic glass, those of colors. A tradition carried on by the hands and millenary knowledge of the Nason Moretti masters, today the only ones in the world who can create 22 different shades of green and 8 of blue, including the Soraya green inspired by the eyes of the famous Persian princess.
This uniqueness, combined with the possibility of larger productions, has earned the company the collaboration with the leading design and fashion houses such as Hermes, Tiffany & Co, Giorgio Armani, Dior and Valentino; appreciated for its colors but also for the refined workmanship such as the glasses with twisted, stripey and bubble textures that make NasonMoretti products recognizable at first sight on every table.
Looking at these wonderful objects it seems really impossible to think that they are created completely by hand. Precisely to reveal the long process that lies behind each of them, the visit to the Museum continues in the production sectors of the company starting from the room where the raw materials are mixed to make colored glass and then continue to the furnace where the glass masters blow and shape everything by hand with only the help of a few tools and molds in pearwood (chosen because compared to other woods it is more resistant to high temperatures).
Witnessing this process is truly one of the most beautiful shows in the world, letting us be enchanted by how, with speed and skill that seems the result of a prestige, each master is able to create about 30 models every hour. The blown shapes are then left to cool slowly for four and a half hours in a special oven and transferred to the cold cutting department, the mill where each object is cut with diamond dust, sanded, polished, washed, and finally passed to the quality control before being branded, always by hand, and packed.
Before concluding the visit to the company showroom, the eye is captured by the sparkle of thousands of what appear to be precious stones, as beautiful as an installation of the Venice Art Biennale. These are the external tanks where discarded objects are collected divided by color, ready to be returned to the production cycle. In fact, in addition to being so beautiful, glass is also a completely recyclable material.
And the wonderful world of NasonMoretti does not end here. After visiting the Museum, in the beautiful Fondamenta Manin you can visit the flagship store, at no. 52, and a little farther on, you can stop to eat in the characteristic Acqua Stanca osteria where Piero’s wife Giovanna, a formidable hostess, will welcome you with a good fish cuisine and a mise en place worthy of a king’s table.
After seeing so many different colors and shapes, it is impossible not to give in to the desire to collect them all and combine them on the table according to our taste. From November until Christmas don’t miss the company outlet, that’s a secret!
One of NasonMoretti’s best-known products is the Bolla vase characterized by the long tapered neck. Each piece, unique, is made freehand using a particular oscillatory blowing technique that gives it always different shapes.
Museum & Showroom
Calle Dietro Gli Orti 12
30141 Murano, Venezia
Tel. +39 041 739020
Fondamenta Manin 52
30141 Murano, Venezia
Tel. +39 041 5274866
Fondamenta Manin 48
30141 Murano, Venezia
Tel. +39 041 3195125
Entrance to the Museum with guided tour: 20 euro (by reservation only)