Matteo Silverio is a trained architect and designer living and working in Murano, Italy, the historical island dedicated to glass art. Along with master stained glass maker Stefano Bullo, also of Murano, the two embarked on their “Touch-me” series, which has been met with critical acclaim. Silverio says of the series,
“Glass is a strange material. Hard and fragile at the same time. It is apparently light, but heavier than concrete. It is precious even if made of poor materials. Glass objects have a sort of mystical aura, which in a certain sense preserves them from being touched; it is no coincidence that "do not touch" is the warning we most frequently see in glass shops. At home that tag is not there, but the idea is still present in our minds, so we find it very difficult to dust that vase, that frame, that glass object, because we perceive it as "fragile" and we are afraid of breaking it.
The "Touch-me" series is a research project aimed to demolish this sort of mental barrier that denies the public any kind of interaction with glass objects. It does so in a radical way, allowing normal people to shape a glass object, touching it with their own hands without the danger of getting burned.
"Touch-me" vases MUST be touched!
In some ways, it is a rebellious project because it makes the act of manipulating glass democratic, and no longer the prerogative of the glass-makers' elite. Therefore, everyone can shape these vases, actively participating in the creative process.
For each vase, the glass has been cut, decorated, and combined by hand, obtaining a manipulable "fabric.”
Even more important, the glass of this new series comes from production waste, making the "Touch-me" series sustainable and an excellent example of a circular economy.”