If we were to create the master glassmakers’ national team, the glass designer Simone Crestani would certainly be a very strong and fearful striker. Bonsai, trees, deer, crystalline fish, headless hens, and tentacle octopuses are just some of the subjects inspired by nature that Crestani is able to create.
Simone is an introspective and self-taught artist, madly in love with the incandescence produced by silicon, and inventor of a new technique to work it: a technique of empty sculpture or lumen blowing that allows him to create large works defining small details in way to exalt the strength but at the same time the elegant fragility of this material.
We decided to interview him before the exhibition which will take place during the London Design Week at the famous Sketch that opens on Wednesday, September 5 with Blown Away: a site-specific exhibition dedicated to light and blown glass.
Where did you learn to work glass?
I started working by chance in Bottega by Massimo Lunardon when I was 15 years old. I worked with him for 10 years and it was there that I learned everything. From the beginning I was attracted by that profession, I realized that this was my way. With the increase in my technical skills, the desire to do my own things has increased and so, from the first exhibitions in 2006, I arrived at the opening of my studio in 2010.
What are your reference points in art and design?
The person who most influenced the choice of my career was Jean Blancheart. He was the first to believe in me and to push me to take this path.
Many of your works are inspired by nature, what is your connection with it?
My works are born from my passions: art and nature. My work seeks beauty and poetry by taking inspiration from the profiles and silhouettes of nature itself. I capture the essence in order to create sculptures and objects with my personal touch. I pay a lot of attention to my personal style. In my works, often light and transparent, there is no lack of elegance and more reasoned and hidden keys to reading related to more demanding issues.
What are your feelings when you create?
The artistic process that leads to the realization of my works always finds a complex and possible verbalization. The path that leads to the final result is characterized by a large unconscious component compared to the manual component. In other words, glass and gestures merge together, knowing each other’s limits and potentialities.
What does it mean to be Italian in your work?
Living as an artist nowadays in Italian is not at all easy, especially because it is not even recognized as a profession. In recent years I have had the good fortune to travel exporting the made in Italy that still has a certain prestige especially in the United States and I think this was a very important aspect for my artistic growth. Working with foreign clients, although producing my works in Italy, has made me know what the true potential of glass in the world of art and design is. The foreign market is more attentive and prepared than the Italian one and I understood that the main difficulty in our country is that of not being able to attribute the right value to artistic craftsmanship. I think we are doing a lot in this regard and I hope that in the future it will be possible to revive the art professions that are a very important part of our cultural heritage.
How can we describe your work? Who are your typical customers at the moment?
My work is mainly located between interior design and decorative art. I sell a lot abroad, especially in the United States.
Tell us what you will present at the London Design Week 2018.
I will present a series of works all inspired by soap bubbles. A console, a mirror, a table lamp, and a pendant lamp will be exhibited in 2 locations:
Matter of Stuff pop-up store / Fenman House, 5 Lewis Cubitt Walk, King’s Cross
Blown Away, Sketch, 9 Conduit St, London.
What is your relationship with London?
London will be a discovery for me, I’m positive and I hope to be full of news.