Breaking the Mould
by Harry / June 2, 2012

Breaking the Mould is seven designers and a material scientist investigating the possibilities of innovation in the traditional glass production techniques of Murano, Venice.

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Though it is an exploration of experimental approaches to the traditional techniques of glass making, the goal is to respect the legacy and nuances of the Muranese tradition.


Says Breaking the Mould, the project "is an open-ended research project that we hope will lead to a range of interesting results. The structure of the project is based in two main phases; one for research, experimentation and testing on selected topics and materials; the other for showcasing and sharing our achievements through a series of exhibitions in selected venues."


"Each project will begin from the results and the outcomes of the previous one, as a consistent continuation of a process in progress."


The collective's first effort is BTM 01 / The Mould, an exhibition of artistic glass made using moulds. "For hundreds of years, up to a few decades ago, the mould has been the key device to produce objects in glass, especially everyday items. Making glass using a mould is certainly less spectacular than seeing a master blowing a piece by hand, but we believe it's as interesting because of the narratives behind it."


"The mould implies a direct link to labour and to all the stories belonging to a unique context: it's about the glorious and humble moments of the Venetian furnaces together."


"A more practical reason for choosing the mould is to narrow the area of intervention and to act on a means that is more intuitive for a first approach to glass. Moreover, in a project where different personalities are involved, the concept of mould has been a good topic to start from and allows everyone express their best intuitions."


"Finally, the mould has been the physical object that has helped us establish a connection with workers from the furnace; a place where unwritten rules regulate the dynamics of such a special place. Most of our energy went in trying to be accepted in the furnace and to gain the respect of people for whom glass is not just an experiment or a project, but is a devoted lifestyle."

Formed in the winter of 2011, the Breaking the Mould collective consists of AUT, Tommaso Cavallin, Chiara Onida, Anna Perugini, Dario Stellon, Matteo Stocco, and Marco Zito.


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