Originally published in Modenus, this article by JoAnn Locktov explores Lino Lando’s fascination and fanatical devotion with Mariano Fortuny has led to a devotion to the craft. This is one of many articles she has written about Venice or companies or people who live or work in the Italian city.
Here’s a taste of her point of view; you can read the full piece by clicking on Modenus above.
“Lino Lando has been fascinated with Fortuny all his life. He spent years studying his paintings, lighting and textiles at the Fortuny family Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei. Lando began production of the silk lamps via his company Venetia Studium in 1984 and in 1987 obtained the Fortuny® trademark. The lamps are produced in Venice by hand to an exacting standard, despite the challenges of acqua alta being such that shipments and deliveries are often unavoidably detained. The silk is dyed and then sewn by hand onto metal structures. Each lamp is then painted in patterns reminiscent of Greek, Roman and Oriental motifs using the lyrical curves found in illuminated medieval manuscripts. The paint is a fusion of gold and silver producing a color of glittering warmth. Each lamp is dressed with a fringed exclamation point — a silk tassel bound by a Murano glass bead. Silk is a natural diffuser of light, so the lamps glow hauntingly like those in the Piazza San Marco on a foggy evening. The lamps are only finished when the artisans can attach the suspension cords to the exact height of each installation. In 2000, Lando developed a glass version of the Fortuny® lamp that could also be used in rooms with ambient moisture. The challenge was to produce glass lamps that would emit the same ethereal glow as silk. To the untrained eye the two versions are identical. Lando’s fanatical devotion to craftsmanship is identical to that of Mariano Fortuny. If you are the electrician hanging an immense six foot diameter Scheherazade lamp, you will find five lion heads greeting you at the five fastening points along the decorative metal ring. They will be invisible to everyone admiring the lamp but you. From above, they stand a silent and invisible guard.”