Business in Italy, Design, Design Inspiration, Life in Italy, Modern Crochet, Traveling Italy

Touching the Venetian life: Design inspiration

I’ve been staying in Venice for a glorious two weeks while my husband is busy studying for his masters. We’ll be here for three months and I’m crying tears of JEWELS as I walk through these streets and see fabrics hanging from the windows of stores like Venetia Stvdivm and Bevilacqua . The center of velvet, fabric, and artisians is where I’m at.img_5769

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Since October of last year I’ve been developing my art of handmade home decor. The process is long and tedious, especially the first phase of design where you’re trying to throw together a unique pattern for a product and you have to rip it out a thousand times because you’re type A when it comes to your work. Finally the design stage is over and now making samples of each product is where I’ve arrived. I decided to take a small break from making samples while here for these three months mostly because it’s very hard to move things to Venice as you have to pack everything into a boat, or several boats and then lift your things over every bridge and eventually up the stairs. Instead, these three months are going to be invested in design inspiration, collecting ideas and new fabrics to realize some over the top Christmas stockings. Well, I lied. I did bring one small bag of things from home to work on when it rains.

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Not only is Venice the center of fabric in Italy (which most people probably don’t even realize when they think of Venice) but also lace of course. There is a whole island dedicated to lace making, Burano. I’ll probably be dragging my husband there this weekend, I might just wear somthing lace for kicks…ma no, that would be a big vergogna!

I’m not surprised that I haven’t seen many modern shops or modern artists. This is good I guess, Venetian baroqueness and the minimalist mindset don’t mix? I think they can. Maybe I’ll have a niche. While walking along Strada Nuova in Cannaregio I found another great fabric store called G. Benevento. Here you’ll find much more affordable fabrics that are just as beautiful!img_5722img_5721Apart from fabrics, I’ve mainly been on the lookout for yarn shops. I came across a shop called Lellabella which is full of pretty yarns mostly for making clothing.img_5777

That wasn’t the genre that I was looking for, but then I happily stumbled across another store called Arcobaleno-Pigmenti which has pure dyes. A thought ran across my mind of hand dying white t-shirt yarn in order to have 1: a unique color that no one sells and 2: a dependent source of yarn that I can count on because I make it myself. One 3 oz bag of dye only costs 3 euros. The guy didn’t seem to be an expert on dye when asking him how much dye I would need for a liter of water…he mostly sells other artsy things like posters, pens, and painting supplies. That’s alright, I’m getting used to vendors not describing much in detail, almost like they don’t want to give away secrets.

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If stores don’t bring about enough ideas then talking to artists in smaller, mom-and-pop shops do. I walked by a booth near the Rialto bridge and saw these amazing wood Giuseppe, Jiminy Cricket, and Pinocchio puppets (which are everywhere but not as good as those) and talked to the seller about Made-In-Italy products. There’s a big certification process, a yearly tax, and quality checks involved as I could imagine. What an honor and dream it would be to one day have that authentication on my products I thought to myself.

Luxurious discoveries only two weeks in. What else will I stumble upon in these three months? Like I said in my last post, inspiration can be derrived from all forms of art and can transition into your work. Here is a piece of leather jewelry that I thought was gorgeous. I like the subtle sparkle and it gave me the idea of dip dying yarn with a slight shimmer to create a light effect.img_5667
Are there any places you’ve been to in Venice that have inspired you? Add them to my list!

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16 thoughts on “Touching the Venetian life: Design inspiration”

  1. Fantastic! I shared your post with my son and his wife who sell Italian products on ziamoda.com. They lived in Florence for five years.

  2. Hi Jessica .. we moved to Venice a few years ago ..welcome .. couple more places you might enjoy. First, bevilacqua have a showroom and workshop in Santa Croce which you can visit and see their fabrics being woven on the original looms. It’s incredible. You can just turn up to the showroom (it’s kinda hidden away so you’ll have fun finding it), but you usually need to book a tour of the workshop. Second, if you also like more modern fabrics, Helene Ferruzzi makes beautiful hand printed silks and velvets. Her shop is just before the Guggenheim. Her fabrics capture the light and music and colour of Venice beautifully. Here’s the links

    http://www.bevilacquapizzinato.com/about/

    http://www.heleneferruzzi.com

    oh, and ps you can also get a tour of the fortuny workshop on Giudecca, which reminds me, I haven’t done it myself yet!

      1. Superb! Glad you enjoyed it! Hope you go to see Helene Ferruzzi’s shop too .. in many ways even more beautiful fabrics. And you can wear her scarves ..

    1. Thank you! I know, I’ve been here for two weeks and have been trying to explore everyday between the rain and the sun! I figured now is the time to get out since it’s not too hot yet

  3. Jess .. sorry that link came from Facebook and won’t work outside it .. if you look at Bevilacquas Facebook page you can read the article. Sorry to mess up.

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