Quand art et design s'emparent du verre
edited by Bettina Tschumi
Wine has always been strongly associated with its containers, so the wine-glass pair can hardly fail to establish a fruitful dialogue. This is the “terroir” this book explores.
Constant experiments are what viticulture and glasswork have in common. Just as ways to improve wine are continually explored, so, too, is the potential of glass to create objects of design whose purpose is not only to contain the beverage, but to become a part of the wine tasting experience itself. Two fields that seem worlds apart, but which actually share other features: a long apprenticeship in learning the right way to handle the raw material and respect for that raw material and for the way it must be treated. Growing a vine and making glass objects are activities that put a premium on a person’s real, sincere commitment. Crafted objects from the most sophisticated glassmaking techniques show how, in the designer’s skilled hands (those of Achille Castiglioni and Gaetano Pesce, among others), these can be perfectly adapted to functional requirements, while retaining symbolic significance and accommodating innovations that demonstrate just how versatile this fragile material actually is.
Taking its cue from these observations, Fondation pour la culture et les civilisations du vin, with headquarters in Bordeaux, decided to invite certain eminent figures in the field to reflect on a quotation attributed to Mahler: “Tradition is husbanding fire, not adoring ashes”. The results were included in the exhibition Verre, design, vin (Bordeaux, cité du vin, March 14 – June 30, 2019), which is accompanied by this book, whose aim is to give due prominence to the know-how handed down through craftsmanship and to promote local identity.
Bettina Tschumi is an art historian specializing in museum studies and cultural mediation. She was conservatrice at the Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains (MUDAC) in Lausanne from 2003 to 2015, taking a particular interest in raising the profile of the glass art section. Besides collaborating on international projects, she is an independent exhibition curator, an author, and a researcher at the Fondazione Cini in Venice.