Toni Zuccheri lamps and other works from his career.
1937 – 2008 | Italy
Fine art & design
Gazza Ladra, drawing of a bird by Luigi Zuccheri (source: Gigarte)
Born in the small village of San Vito al Tagliamento in the Pordenone region in 1936. Toni is the son of the master painter Luigi Zuccheri, who is known for his illustrations of nature and birds. Toni also had a love for nature and animals. He became known for his colorful works of birds and organic vases, often carefully created with experimental techniques and materials.
Toni graduated from the Academy of Architecture in Venice in the 1950s. During his time on the academy he learned from great artists, including Ignazio Gardella, Franco Albini and Carlo Scarpa.
In 1961 Toni joined Venini and learned the art of glassmaking by working side by side with Gio Ponti. Together they developed a new kind of art glass called “Vetrate grosse”. It means “Big Windows”. It was a new technique where they made glass animals using pasty glass in combination with raw materials, for example raw pigment, bronze, copper and murrine particles. The first collection of birds was presented at the Venice Biennale in 1964. They were not produced in large numbers due to high costs.
Hoopoe by Toni Zuccheri, 1963 (source: Wright20)
Experimenting and thinking outside the box is something Toni was good at. A part of his works show this particular way of thinking. Often designed as indentations that are pressed into or out of the glass. A few good examples of this style are the Nuphar and Zinia table lamps. These are both made by VeArt in the 1970s. The Nuphar series was produced in 2 types of glass and sizes. These lamps have multiple indentations from the outside inwards of the glass, which makes it look like an arachnid shape. Often creating an impressive light pattern when illuminated.
VeArt advertisement of the Nuphar series (source: Catawiki)
A work that shows the colorful and balanced side of Toni is the “Patchwork” wall lamp. He designed it for Venini in the end of the 1960s. The model was produced in 2 different color combinations, blue and orange. The 8 different glass parts in this Patchwork lamp reflect the raw glassblowing techniques and pure colors of the Venini standard. The color palette consists of different shades bound to the primary color. All accents and glass parts together create an abstract patchwork.
Orange and blue Patchwork wall lamp (source: Storm Vintage & Arsvalue)
During the collaboration between Toni and Venini, many beautiful things were created. The Membrana lighting series is also a part of that. The design consist of a glass globe that holds an inner structure, a membrane that splits the globe in half. Toni’s unlimited way of shaping an object is also reflected in this work.
A rather contrary design that Toni made is the Civetta desk lamp. This design has no glass and no natural or colorful characteristics, it’s plain white with fixed lines. This shows that every designer sometimes steps out of their comfort-zone to create something new. It’s a rare piece produced by Francesconi in the 1970s.
Membrana table lamp by Toni Zuccheri for Venini (source: Catawiki)
Advertisement of the Civetta desk lamp (source: Domus)
We are a big lover of Toni Zuccheri lamps and his other works. He has a special place in the history of Murano glass for his unique and experimental collection of handmade sculptural birds.
Zuccheri died in September 2008, but his work lives on.
All content is sourced and generated internally.
Text: Storm Vintage, Storm Wilschut
Image sources: Compasso design, Arsvalue, Catawiki, Unforget, Gigarte, Wright20, Storm Vintage.
Copyright: This article and its contents may not be used or copied without permission of Storm Vintage.