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Venini Glass by Franco Deboni


Hi all
I am not a strong reader as i have previously spoken about, and unfortunitly I dont have the vocabulary of Stephen Fry (of infact not even a tiny percentage of it).
So I will do my best to give a good review of the titled Book.

RRP £100. 536 pages, 450 illustrations in colour and 380 in black and white

Firstly I was happy to see that the book came in 2 volumes in an outer case (much easier to read, and doesnt make your arms and hands ache so much)

Volume 1, Venini Glass Its history, artists and techniques

Less than half of this book is text (It took me less than 24 hours to read the intire book, many of you could easily do it in an afternoon I am sure). The book is in very good English and I noted only a couple of spelling errors (although my spelling is horrific so i probably didnt notice half of them), as for actual identification errors I am afraid to say I am not educated enough in Venini to say.
The book is easy to read, flows well, and is in a good sized print.
The book starts by giving a good but brief history of Venini glassworks. A down point for me was names given and sometimes no explaination to whom the person was/is and there roles, almost expecting the reader to know.
Although their records had been detroyed in 1972 by a fire and this may be partly to blame for this.
Personally I would have liked a little more information on Venini The man, maybe a brief at the begining of the book, not to say there was no information, but it was mixed in with the rest of the book.

The author has then picked out what he considers the major artists from Venini and gives a brief biography on each, including some images of there designs. The 9 Artists included in this are;
Vittorio Zeccin
Napoleone Martinuzz
Tomaso Buzzi
Tyra Lundgren
Carlo Scarpa
Flavio Bianconi
Thomas Searns
Toni Zuccheri
Tapio Wirkkala

Wirkkala was a great surprise to me, I had no idea he had designed and worked for Venini. It was also a surprise to see how many other known Artist including Dale Chihuly, worked and trained at Venini.
Virtually all of the pictures have been in black and white untill this point

The next section I found hugely helpful, Techniques
Each technique is explained with a large, clear, colour photo. The explaination of each technique is simple and easy to understand, using words like "spongy" so you can almost feel the explaination. It also gives a brief desciption of how the effect is achieved and the designer who created the technique. My only complaint being this section should have been longer, but this is purely because I found it so interesting and useful.
The book then goes on to the red/green/blue trade catalogues, all of which hand drawings and a look at the lighting fixtures catalogue all in original photos

Volume 2 Venini Glass Catalogue 1921 - 2007

This volume for me was an absolute joy and I have spent most of today gazing through it with envy and lust.
The book has no text sections, only photos and a brief description of the pieces in the photo.
Absolutly stunning, the photos are all in colour, many being full page. The photography is beaufully set, with great detail being show on each piece
Be under no illustion this is a large book and must have cost a fortune to produce as the quality of the photo printing is to dream of, but I am just a novice in the world of photography, book making and printing.

One thing I did find a little odd, is the book has no page numbers, now i know this is no major concern, but for me I would have liked page numbers to refer to in my notes.
Overall a wonderful book for me personally. It was a light read, it didnt get to bogged down into the in's an out's of politics, the country, wars and so on. And as i previously said the photo's are beautiful, you can almost feel the glass through the page.
I was also pleased that the book does not, like many other books, contain only the higher valued pieces, It gives a full range from the spectacular to the more obtainable

Personally I didnt pay full price for this book, I bought it from an associate who sells new books and paid £40 for it, for me it was a real bargain at that price, and I am sure the book will bring me much pleasure just ogling and drooling over the pictures.
I would recommend the book (especially to those who enjoy the pictures more than the reading part)


Paul S.:
congratulations Michelle  -  you've made a start.      It takes effort to write a review, and you've achieved more than some other long standing members.   How about now requesting the mods. to post it in the section for book reviews.??   
When it comes to learning from books  - and this applies not just to books on glass  -  one quality picture is worth a thousand words.    Knowing what you need to recognize is the most importand thing, so shed loads of text is not so important.    I was walking through an antiques emporium of sorts recently, and my eye was drawn to a short squat  green vase with a darker swirl, and instantly I recalled it as a picture from Susan Tobin's book  -  and so remembering that single image was successful in telling me the piece was an RSW vase.               Bet your review will triple the the sales of this Venini book overnight ;D     Well done.

Opps sorry, still managed to put it in the wrong place lol.
thanks Paul, I totally agree with you about pictures, I appear to have a somewhat photographic memory for glass, the only problem is my none glass memory is absolutly terrible and I always forget where I saw the picture.
Ah well the lovely Anne has put this in the right place now.. Thank you Anne.


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