Giulio Radi and Aldo Nason
Giulio Radi was born on the island of Murano in 1895. His family was renowned for its adept and influential glass technicians, including Lorenzo Radi who personally rediscovered a number of glass techniques which had been lost since the Renaissance. Giulio worked for a time at his father’s furnace, and then beginning in 1918 at Andrea Rioda where he served primarily as an administrator. In 1932 he became a founding member of A.V.E.M., and in 1939 he was appointed Artistic Director. From this time forward he would remain actively engaged in glass design. A continuation of Giulio Radi’s vision and techniques, Nason’s Yokohama series stands out for its brilliant use of abstract and biomorphic forms. Experimenting with metal oxides, he developed several new applications for murrines, gold and silver leaf, and articulated glass rods. Many of his pieces are now considered masterworks of 20th century design. He died an untimely death in 1952.
While Giulio Radi’s tenure as designer at A.V.E.M. may have ended prematurely, his vision did not — the Yokohama series, initiated by master blower Aldo Nason for A.V.E.M. in 1959, represents a quite literal continuation of Radi’s ideas and techniques —his use of heavy gold and silver inclusions with deeply embedded murrines is drawn directly from Radi’s oeuvre. What distinguishes the Yokohama series are the abstract and outsized biomorphic forms employed to great effect by Nason.