Currently held on consignment at Andrews Oakville
This vivid statement work of handblown Murano art glass is by Luigi Onesto for his art glass studio Vetreria Artistica Oball. This piece brings with it a beautiful demonstration of the Sommerso [tr. 'Submerged' and Bullicante [tr. 'Controlled Bubbles'] techniques. The Sommerso technique was developed by Venetian glass artist Antonio Da Ross of Murano in the late 1930s, after successfully suspending contrasting but separate colours of glass. Recognition of Da Ross's work became well known and around the same time Paolo Venini perfected this technique but it was Seguso d’Arte that made it world famous during the 1950s.
This particular piece features three "splashes" of colour in a vibrant Postmodern palette of Raspberry red, Cobalt blue and Firefly yellow and folding in Bullicante bubbles within the bands. The bands of colour overlap to form secondary shades in an encased display of fluidity which has been frozen in time and immortalised by the Sommerso process.
Signed and dated by the artist, this exceptional piece is a work of freeform art glass creativity with a rare colour palette and when combined with the condition and size, all the elements make this piece a rare find.
Excellent. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Most notable wear are the movement marks on the underside of the base that are commensurable with the age of the piece. Please refer to photographs as they form part of the condition report. The base bears Onesto's signature and is dated to 2004.
Height: c. 9.5" / 24 cm x c. 7.3" / 18.5 cm width (across widest point). Depth: c. 2.4" / c. 6 cm. Base measurements: c. 4.7" / c. 12 cm x c. 2.1" / c. 5.3 cm. Unpackaged weight: c. 4.9 kg / 4,860 g
A BIT OF HISTORY
One of the most famous makers of Italian Murano art glass is Luigi Onesto. Born in Murano, Italy to a family of glass-makers, Luigi was immersed in the art from an early age. At 15, he honed his craft during his apprenticeship at Gambaro & Poggi, one of the oldest and leading glass making companies in Italy at the time. Eventually, he founded his own art glass studio, Vetreria Artistica Oball in 1978, where he now works with his sons.
Luigi’s work is characterised by his exceptionally skilled use of the Sommerso technique. Sommerso involves layering multiple colours of glass for a very distinctive and beautiful effect. It is not a simple process by any means and in the hands of lesser artists the effect is often ruined by the presence of air bubbles between the layers.
Sommerso is one of the most commonly known Murano techniques, which in Italian literally means “submerged”. This technique is used to create several layers of glass (usually with different contrasting colors) inside a single object, giving the illusion of “immersed” colours without mixing.
The different layers of glass is put through heat, repeatedly immersing them in pots of molten coloured glass. This technique is easily recognisable; characterised by an outer layer of colourless glass and thick layers of coloured glass inside it. The effect is as if a big drop of colour had been captured inside the clear glass.