EST: The name of the Filigrana Light is a direct reference to the Venetian technique used to make it, but this is a decorative style that hasn’t been fashionable for quite a while.
WRONG: You see it usually in more historical environments in this slightly old-world, faded-grandeur kind of space, so the idea was to take this feeling and translate it through a contemporary object to draw attention to the purity and the beauty of glass filigree: the symmetry and the randomness. It is a special, magical technique.
EST: The technique involves adding canes of white or coloured, white-cored glass to the already molten glass before it is blown, and it has to be done by hand. Why did you decide to go down this route?
WRONG: I’ve designed lighting for years, but I’ve also nurtured a growing interest in glass manufacturing and the Italian Venetian techniques that are still very alive. Historically, for the Venetians, glass was a commodity, and this veining technique had intrinsic value – it was a currency. Filigrana was part of the process of glass making that was unique to this area and was very sought after. On Murano, they maintained a secrecy around its production. Objects made using this filigree were of really high value, and I like the idea of interpreting that for a contemporary context. This slightly spiral, candy cane effect emotes childhood and memory. So I have applied this to core basic shapes with very little design around it. Each light is unique because of the way it is made. It’s a celebration of colour and technique.
EST: Normally, you’d see this filigree used with clear glass. Why did you decide on a different finish?
WRONG: We’re doing three colours, black, red and white. White is very subtle, black is also muted but a more distinct effect. Red is very full-on and of course puts a colour tint into a room. To have these colours with the white canes, and then an acid-etched finished that makes it super matt and quite soapy, makes it much more contemporary. Visually, it’s very dreamy. I find the application of the colour and the variations of the lines very calming and quite hypnotic. It has a slightly other-worldly feel to it.
EST: Some of the other brands you’ve worked for have had a focus on high-volume sales, which wouldn’t allow for a handmade product like Filigrana Light. Is that something you’re interested in replicating at Established & Sons at all?
WRONG: No. Established & Sons is absolutely not that kind of brand. What I’d like to bring is a renewed clarity and definition for what this brand is going to be in this new chapter.