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Murano – Venetian handcrafting

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Glass blowing artisans may use modernized tools today, but the essence of working with glass remains an ancient art. The technique can be traced back to 3500 BC in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq). The basic raw materials are sand, sodium carbonate and sodium nitrate which are mixed together then fused in a very hot kiln.

 

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Molten red-hot liquid glass transformed into a lasting artifact is an act that requires a creative mind, dexterous handwork, and stamina. Physically draining, glassblowing is one of the earliest forms of handcrafting.

Throughout history, the basic knowledge and techniques of glass blowing have been highly coveted, and at times, held sacred by only a select few. This information was handed down secretively from glass blower to apprentice for thousands of years.

In the past, glass blowers were literally held hostage for fear of their knowledge being leaked. During the 1st Century A.D., Phoenician glassworkers were forbidden from traveling, although those who escaped spread the art form into present-day Switzerland, France, and Belgium. Similarly, for Venetian glassblowers leaving the island of Murano was a crime, punishable by death.

By the 15th century, Venice was the principle glass producer of Europe with a concentration of 3000 glassblowers in a single location, the island of Murano.

 

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The term Millefiori comes from Italian. It is a combination of the words

Mille (thousand) and Fiori (flowers). The millefiori technique involves the production of glass canes or rods, known as murrine with multicolored patterns which are viewable only from the cut ends of the cane. A murine rod is heated in a furnace and pulled until thin while still maintaining the cross section’s design. It is then cut into beads or discs then cooled.

The murrine is then cleaned up and arranged in a desired pattern within a special heat-resistant mold to give the product the necessary shape. The mold containing the murrine pattern is placed into the special furnace. These furnaces are the cornerstone of the glassmaking craft, as the artisans use them to heat up the glass mixture and work it while it’s in a liquid state. Once murrine start bonding with each other inside the furnace, the mold is removed and its contents are pressed upon to create a continuous Millefiori surface with no gaps. The final product is shaped once out of the furnace.

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Read the complete post on yadcheri.com –

 

Pedro

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“I ADMIRE EVERYTHING THAT IS USELESS, FRIVOLOUS AND WHIMSICAL. I HATE FUNCTIONALISM, POST-MODERNISM AND ALMOST EVERYTHING ELSE. FOR ME, THE HOUSE AND ITS OBJECTS IS SUPPOSED TO BE SOME CRAZY PLACE THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH.” – PEDRO FRIEDEBERG

PIETRO ENRICO HOFFMAN LANDESMAN (AS WAS HIS GIVEN NAME) OR AS HE WAS LATER KNOWN AS PEDRO FRIEDEBERG, WAS BORN IN ITALY IN 1936 TO GERMAN-JEWISH PARENTS. AT THE AGE OF THREE, PIETRO AND HIS RECENTLY DIVORCED MOTHER FLED ITALY AT THE ONSET OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND SETTLED IN MEXICO.

SOON AFTER ARRIVING IN THE NEW COUNTRY, PIETRO’S MOTHER REMARRIED AND WENT TO WORK AS A TRANSLATOR FOR EXPATS — SUCH AS THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARY LEON TROTSKY AND GERMAN WRITER ANNA SEGHERS — BOTH OF WHOM HAD FLED THEIR NATIVE COUNTRIES AND SOUGHT ASYLUM IN MEXICO.

AS A UNIVERSITY STUDENT IN MEXICO CITY IN THE 50’S, HE INITIALLY STUDIED ARCHITECTURE BUT HIS FANTASTICAL DESIGNS RAN AFOUL OF HIS RATIONALIST, BAUHAUS ORIENTED TEACHERS.

BY CHANCE, HIS DRAWINGS CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF MATHIAS GOERITZ A GERMAN BORN AVANT GARDE PAINTER & SCULPTOR WHO ENCOURAGED FRIEDEBERG AND MADE HIM A PROTÉGÉ. BY 1961 HE STARTED EXHIBITING IN LOCAL GALLERIES AND ABANDONED HIS STUDIES TO FOCUS SOLELY ON HIS ART.

FROM AN EARLY AGE, FRIEDEBERG WAS SURROUNDED BY RADICAL THINKERS AND ARTISTS, WHICH UNDOUBTEDLY HAD A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON HIM. MEXICO CITY AND ITS SURROUNDINGS PROVIDED A WEALTH OF INFLUENCES FOR A YOUNG, INQUISITIVE MIND.

HE WAS ALWAYS FASCINATED BY RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE: CATHEDRALS, AZTEC PYRAMIDS, SYNAGOGUES, GURDJIEFFIAN TEMPLES AND AT AN EARLY AGE HE WAS INFLUENCED BY THEOSOPHY, CATHOLICISM, ATHEISM, EASTERN CUSTOMS AND RELIGIONS.

AS A SCULPTOR & PAINTER PEDRO FRIEDEBERG’S WORK IS RICHLY DETAILED, SURREAL & HIS ARTISTIC STYLE BLENDS INFLUENCES FROM NEOCLASSICAL ART, ESHER AND MESOAMERICAN SYMBOLISM.

SPACE AND TIME ARE IMMATERIAL; THE ANCIENT MINGLES WITH THE MODERN; HANDS AND FEET BECOME CHAIRS, ANIMALS DANCE AMONG CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE; IMAGES, SHAPES, AND LETTERS ARE REPEATED AD INFINITUM. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN THE CRAZY WORLD OF PEDRO FRIEDEBERG. HIS IMAGINATION IS LIMITLESS.

HIS FOOT AND HAND CHAIRS, CLOCKS IN THE SHAPE OF HANDS AND TATTOOED MANNEQUINS AMONG OTHER THINGS BRING LEVITY AND WHIMSY TO ANY SPACE IT OCCUPIES.

HE IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS HAND CHAIR, A FUNCTIONAL SCULPTURE THAT IS AN ICON OF DESIGN AS ART, CREATED IN 1961.

WITH A CAREER SPANNING MORE THAN FIVE DECADES, HE HAS DEVELOPED SOMETHING OF A CULT FOLLOWING AMONG COLLECTORS AND DESIGNERS ACROSS THE GLOBE.

https://www.yadcheri.com/talk-to-the-hand-blog/

Pasionaria – Joana Uchôa

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An old used up shirt covered in stains belonging to her father was the spark that lit the fire to Joana Uchôa’s creativity. She went out to buy fabric paint and reveled at customizing the shirt by covering the stains.

Since that moment, joana has spent time browsing through thrift shops searching for the pieces of clothing that inspire her to develop her customized styling and hand patterns.

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, 21 year old Joana Uchôa is an artist in every sense of the word. after exploring different mediums such as drawing, painting, embroidery, sculpture & design, joana focuses her attention to fabric painting and the values of « slow fashion ». She believes in quality & longevity and the principles of  fair wages, lower carbon footprints and ideally zero waste.

When we asked Joana what made her create clothes with the hand pattern, her inspiration was very clear.

” I chose the hand as my main symbol because it portrays several things to me :  Firstly, the hand pattern represents the hands of the exploited sweat shop workers (mainly women) who despite their work are invisible to the eyes of society. I think of these workers who with blood, sweat and tears, produce clothing in terrible working conditions. By customizing an dress or shirt with the hand pattern, it is my way of honoring the work of these workers. I transform the piece into something desirable again and give the clothes a new lease of life.  Therefore the hands represent the power of transformation.

We also wanted to know her feelings about living in one of the world’s most vibrant cities and how rio influences her work.

“i believe that my city, rio de janeiro, influences me a lot in my work. not only on the collection i am presently working on which is focused on slow fashion, but on all my creations so far. rio excites me. it is an extremely beautiful place, a city full of life, with an energy that i haven’t seen anywhere else. it’s a city filled with artists. the streets are crowded with people and small bars and tables.  on the sidewalks, crammed with people and the proximity, the physical proximity it creates, allows people to talk to each other easily.  people from all walks of life mingle. this favors exchanges and people who barely know each other chat, communicate and exchange ideas throughout the night. Rio is a place where you wake up in the morning to a beautiful sunny sky, where you head to the beach for a few hours & meet up with people.

Even when you work or go to college, rio is surrounded by beautiful mountains and lush vegetation, the sun shines and the interaction with people is constant. I’m in love with this place ! ”

We were curious to find out what the meaning of Joana Uchôa’s brand name #ousejabrecho : “the hashtag #ousejabrecho means thrift stores.” She explains.  “Its a little joke that I created because I am always talking about how investing in these types of stores would be much more ethical, ecological conscious compared to financing stores that rely on the fast fashion model of consumption and production. On my instagram and youtube channel I’m always talking about these matters ! This is what I fight for!  My focus is slow fashion + feminism where you  promote by investing on thrift.”

How can one not be inspired by the passion, the energy & the charisma of this hand loving designer with a cause.

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