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A strong Crystal Company – Nuova CEV

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Let’s talk about Nuova CEV. How did it all started?
Our fortune usually derives from the fact that someone breaks something; everyone knows that crystal is very fragile and therefore… we are called on to reproduce it. In this case our history started after someone destroyed much more than crystal, when the whole of Italy had to be rebuilt and everyone had to roll up their sleeves and start from scratch… that is, after the Second World War. That’s how the CEV – Cooperativa Empolese Vetrai (cooperative glassmakers from Empoli) was born, a company that now has over three hundred employees. Up until the 1980s it produced glass in its various forms before passing the baton over to the Nuova CEV that sprang up in 1985.

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What’s the difference between CEV and Nuova CEV (nuova = new in italian)?
Nuova CEV was born with a new “old” idea: instead of turning to industrialization, to the first successfully experimented robots, or to serial and mass production, we decided to exploit the skills of our master glassmakers and engravers. Today we no longer concentrate on glass but instead, on crystal, devoting our work to small numbers in the pursuit of the highest quality of the items produced. In retrospect, this choice is what saved us – while twenty or so other manufacturing companies, all much larger and better structured than ours were forced to close after making the opposite decision.

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That choice was not easy to understand some years ago. A curiosity: you are always speaking as “we”…
It’s true, I always use the term “we”, not as the royal plural, but because I am not the big boss…in a “healthy” cooperative there is no big boss and nobody who feels that way. I am just the chairman and have been for a long time.

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How long have you been working here?
I began in 1990, before I turned thirty, I was appointed chairman by the other shareholders even though I was the youngest member; in a cooperative, elections are usually held every three years to renew the Board of Directors and therefore the chairman as well…and also in this case…. I have survived. And to think that I entered the Nuova CEV for the purpose of opening a data processing centre in the company. Instead I found myself doing a new job, rather, a thousand new jobs: in addition to being a glassmaker and glass grinder I have done everything. I consider myself a “spin doctor” and the “historical memory” of the company as by now all the founding members have since retired.

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What’s different in a cooperative company?
A cooperative is a strange undertaking, very different from a private company, as in fact, it works like a small republic and its representatives, who are elected by the “people”, are called upon to give life to those executive figures that actually plot the company’s future. It is similar to an enlarged family, with lots of children who grow up and as they grow they probably “drive their parents a little crazy”, with perhaps a prodigal son here and there, and also a son of a….in short, a real family. And as with all families, at least once a year there’s a great party to celebrate the fact of all being together.

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Tell us something more about that party?
In the past, what seems like eons ago, we used to hold mega parties in beautiful villas with sumptuous dinners, animation for the children and entertainment for the adults, with numerous official guests and all the family members of each shareholder. Now that the crisis is upon us, just like good parents we have sized everything down, even though we never miss out on the pleasure of spending time together in front of a dish of delicious Tuscan food with a glass of good Chianti in our hands to share a few desecrating jokes true as all true Tuscans do – well, to tell the truth there are a couple of foreigners among us but they have already been converted…

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Aside the party, how is the job?
I love my job as it takes me in contact with workers all over the world, and in line with my travelling spirit, I like to have personal experience with the habits and customs of our customers in the most exotic and most far away countries. At times we have had to supply decorations designed especially for the wedding of an Arab princess, or a Sultan, and just the fact of producing personalised bonbonniere (fancy sweet-box) for these events gives our company an important breath of oxygen. We indirectly come in contact with famous brand names and high-profile personalities, whose names we cannot mention as we work for them, making perfume bottles, home furnishings, and lamps etc., and because we produce cups and trophies that we then see on TV in the hands of the winners of the Gran Prix, world cup skiing, tennis, golf, football and many other sporting championships.

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So you are related in some way also to sports…
Personally, as a historical fan of Empoli Calcio, I am honored that the Nuova CEV has produced the various trophies assigned to footballers who have since become famous, such as Montella, Di Natale, and Giovinco, to name some of the most recent. And once, on occasion of a meeting between Pope Wojtyla and Bill Clinton in world vision, my mind boggled when I suddenly noticed a splendid lamp from our own production sitting on the table between them.

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Which are the plans for the future?
What is the future of our company?
Whatever will be written down by those who will come after us.

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Andrea Falaschi
President, Nuova CEV 

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Tuscany, inspiration and respect for the environment – Aurora Cucine

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The finishes and materials of all Aurora products are inspired by nature and the territory they belong to. The land, materials, colors and flavors of Tuscany are reflected in the style of all our kitchens.

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The respect for our hills, our parks, marine reserves yet untouched, leads us to a strong attachment to the world around us. For these reasons, the environmental sustainability of products is the basis of our research.

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Chef. Design is served – ZOOM110 by Linea G

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The ZOOM110 brand synthesizes and expresses the creative essence of Linea G, always looking for ideas able to become innovative, extravagant and at the same time practical products. The most characterising aspect of each luxurious item, as well as each minimal or “funny” one is the purpose of a revolution of standard bathroom fitting-out canons.

From the creative flair of the architect Mr. Enio Calosi was born “Chef”
It is really curious how some shapes can be matched together in an unexpected way, even if they have completely different functions.

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A brilliant and witty attention is able to identify and transform kitchen tools in something else: an induction hob in a bathroom washbasin, an oven in a bathroom cabinet and the handle of a pan in a towel rail.

idea- fumetto forno anni 50

A funny and original fitment around which you can create an unconventional bathroom.

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THE PROJECTlinea g

The pan is made of semi glossy white resin, a ductile material which allows to create quite countless shapes thanks to a bolding moulds at first and an accurate smoothing work at least, able to grant a practical utilization in your bathroom.

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The support plane on which lies the pan simulates the classical induction hob. It is made of coloured glass with some concentric silkscreened rings.

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The mirror with its integrated neon light creates an elegant and endearing atmosphere, thanks to the silkscreened satin finish concentric rings.

DESTINATION

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Chef, ideal for the toilets of strong personality restaurants and public premises, goes well also with common homes, giving to each bathroom a hint of fun and originality.

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Prato Textile Museum – an invitation by Samarreda

“All in Prato, and all in rags, it ends the history of Italy,”
wrote Curzio Malaparte in his Cursed Tuscans.

Prato city manufacturing and creative, in the balance between craftsmanship and industry, it can now show to the world his story inside the Textile Museum, which occupies the restored rooms of the old factory Campolmi, jewel of industrial architecture of the XIX century building within the walls of the medieval city.

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Walking through the courtyard where stands the brick chimney, through the exhibition rooms with the roof trusses in wood is as if in the background you would hear again the sound of rhythmic frames, symbol is an industrial era but in Prato went hand in hand with the artisan of genius who invented the plot tissue, of whoever designed the floral motifs of the damask.

textile museum prato museo tessuto prato

textile museum prato museo tessuto prato

textile museum prato museo tessuto prato

If you want to understand the soul of this city, you can not visit it.

It’s an invitation by Samarreda

Pictures taken from www.museodeltessuto.it

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Three stories about Crystal – Nuova CEV

What’s more common than a football, the ball of a sport that we could call “global”? That’s why in 1990 we made a series of gadgets for the World Cup Italia 90 bearing the legendary tricolour “Ciao”.

Nuova CEV italia 90 crystal

Trick or treat? Trick! That’s why a playful glassmaker started to make small stones as a way of adding life to breakfast time, the famous “Fresca” (a moment of refreshment)! And a prestigious designer has made a series of chandeliers and lamps out of them.

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Television, such a passion! During an interview on Telemontecarlo I took a gift to the anchorwoman, a crystal ring, and from that time on I have been coerced into replicating and multiplying these gifts for various actresses.

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Gallo – From Venice to Tuscany

How and when was the company founded?
The Gallo Company has a long tradition as it was founded in Venice in 1910.

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Following centuries of Italian tradition associated with craftsmanship, the founder of the company, Luciano Gallo, started his own activity in the solitude of a small workshop located in the heart of Venice, precisely in Campo San Tomà, one of the hundreds of small squares that compose the uneven and jagged urban area of the city of Venice.
So we are talking of 105 years, but do not ask me if we celebrated the anniversary because we did not: as a rationalist, I suffer from a strange form of superstition!

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So the origins are in Veneto?
Actually I prefer to say they are in Venice.

What exactly did your great-grandfather?
Although the most typical Venetian artisan tradition is linked to glass, Luciano Gallo was an expert in processing iron and more specifically in making lighting objects for outside use such as lanterns or oil lamps, as shown in the photo on the cover page of our catalogue, in which he can be seen amidst his creations.

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How did he end up in Tuscany?
Because of the war – after WW1, in 1919, my great-grandfather moved to Tuscany, first to Florence then to Prato (8 km from Florence) with his large family (his wife and 9 children, i.e. 7 sons and 2 daughters) as was usual in those days.

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The move was necessary because the region of “Tre Venetie” was the Italian front of the First World War, and was devastated in the aftermath. And then who knows: it might be destiny, I wonder? A Venetian artisan who does not work with glass but with bronze and wrought iron ends up in the right place after all, Florence, the Italian land of artistic wrought iron crafts, as is the whole Tuscany region.

It is this very activity, after the move to Prato, that lead him to become a famous “bronze” craftsman in the Florence area, a creator of artistic objects, including for the street furniture sector, such as park benches, street lamps and statues in brass and bronze.
Luciano Gallo passed away in 1933 (not a bad year to leave this world, I reckon!: Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and all the mess that he’ll make afterwards, but this is another story…)

Who continues the activity?
Being able to rely on 9 children, 7 of whom sons, the company did not end with Luciano. Two Gallo brothers, Libero and Dino (my grandfather) took over the business after a forced interruption during the most dramatic phase of WW2, due to the German occupation between 1943 and 1945.

Dino Gallo
1945 is also the year when Aldo Gallo was born, Dino’s son and my father.

Aldo Gallo

We have lost count now – which generation is that?
Third – Aldo is the third generation – not bad I’d say: having lived through two wars, a dictatorship… so we are now in the 1950’s.

And what happened in the 1950’s?
The brothers Libero and Dino Gallo went their separate ways but continued to produce classic-decorative light fittings for internal use. Over those years, each one in his own way, they renewed and reinterpreted the so-called “Florentine style” (which in its most traditional form consists of either iron or wood) and brought some major stylistic innovation such as the use of Venetian and Murano crystal and glass (recalling their Venetian origins).
Both Gallo brothers (Dino and Libero) were really two master craftsmen and guides, in the Florence area, also for all subsequent generations of classic lighting producers over the course of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

It was a good time – full economic boom – how did the company live through it?
Rather well: over the course of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, my father Aldo brought major innovative changed in style and production that lead him to introduce new work processes: not only the use of iron, but also products based on the use of wood, ceramics and china. This further lead him, in particular in the 1970’s, to invent a collection of table lamps that became a commercial and stylistic case in the recent story of the Italian decorative lighting design.

Over the 80’s and 90’s, my father Aldo found new energy and incentive also thanks to the constant and keen presence of his wife and business partner, Beatrice Pacini Gallo, my mother.

Beatrice Pacini Gallo

Thus the company was able to complete its final leap in terms of quality and recognition on foreign markets, including outside Europe (Asia, North America, the Arab Countries).

And you Jacopo, what are your achievements?
To begin with, I was born – in 1972 – and so I represent the fourth generation and I truly hope not to be the last.

Jacopo Gallo

You can well vouch for it after 105 years!
That’s right – we look pretty good for our age!
A century and more of experience is a treasure on which to draw – a cushion on which to sit: artisan background that happily combines iron, glass, wood, bronze and ceramics, as well as a cultural background since I grew up in close contact with a Venetian grandfather who would always crack jokes with me in Venetian dialect (a dialect which in some ways we have kept alive at home, joking with my father). I am also the bearer of a Venetian life style, food wise for instance, (we used to eat “poenta e osei” for Sunday lunch, and I’ m still fond of it, as well as liver with onions of course – what memories!).

This constructive contamination may well be what has allowed us to hand down these skills for more than 100 years; then an innate curiosity and the blending of 2 exceptional cultures and territories that belong to 2 dream cities, Florence and Venice.

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What was your main objective when you joined the company?
To continue the internationalization process that was started in the 1980’s and 90’s and to expand it to what I like to call the emerging “New World”, namely BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China). This coincided with the time when I joined the company for good, in 2000 (while I was finishing my degree in Architecture in Florence). These emerging countries are very important as they have practically sustained world economy over the last 15 years, so we have invested accordingly there with substantial outcome.

What about the future?
The future of a company like ours will always go hand in hand with a review of the past. This is not a “nostalgic” idea, also because it would be impossible to remain attached to old models when the world order changes every 7-10 years; so we are forced to reinvent and question ourselves – here I am referring not so much to work processes but to the spirit behind them.

To this day we continue designing and producing our items in the name of the tradition that has guided our company through over 100 years and 4 generations. The rich cultural background that has been handed down to me helps me monitor, manage and blend different types of materials and shapes, as clearly shown in our production, which is both a review and an update of the already mentioned “Florentine style”.

105 years of existence are also a clear indication of reliability and professionalism that the various owners have always endeavoured to maintain and foster at large, but also toward their many employees, suppliers and customers over the course of 4 generations.

As a matter of fact our company collaborates with hundreds of architects and interior designers all over the world. They have total trust in our abilities and skills, so much so that they very often order made-to-measure or enlarged items, because they are confident that the final result and object that will be delivered will fully meet the expectations of their final customers.

Therefore the “tailor made” approach stands as the most significant step in connection with the review of the past I was mentioning above: i.e. putting our experience at the service of other people’s needs.

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Quality in every style – New Design Porte

Telling the origin of the inspiration that gives birth of New Design products means telling the story of Lorenzo Cortigiani, the company’s founder.

New Design PorteLorenzo, very young, began working alongside the most important furniture manufacturers in the Chianti. This first important work experience then accompanied him throughout his life, affecting his taste and leaving in him the desire to create not only internal doors that divides spaces of a house but real pieces of furniture that can transform the entire surrounding.

New Design Porte

From the world of furniture in fact derive a passion for details and rich finishes, attention to detail, interest in sinuous shapes and curves.

All most representative models of New Design have their strength in those details that come from the world of furniture, such as carving, rich finishings, precious touch such as the use of gold leaf and the use of noble essences.

New Design Porte

The initial step was to transfer the great Tuscan tradition of Arte Povera; a very simple but refined taste and high quality; suited to the typical rustic and welcoming atmosphere of Tuscany.

The discovery of new markets and an openness to a different clientele over the years led him to seek inspiration continues in all the most significant places that he had the opportunity to visit.

New Design Porte

After some years Lorenzo Cortigiani fulfilled his goal being able to support the traditional production of doors with the production of furniture of the highest level supported by those same craftsmen that taught him the love of wood.

But the goal of the New Design, over the years, has always remained the same: to get the highest possible level of quality in every style, in every finish and in every detail.

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Inspirations – Nuova CEV

“My greatest passion is to travel, discover, understand, meet, experience… the world. I have explored all the continents and have been particularly fascinated by Salar de Uyuni, a huge “dazzling” expanse of salt.

 

Salar de Uyuni

 

Salar de Uyuni

 

 

I experienced the same emotions when I stayed in the majestic Ice Hotel in Lapland. When I faced with the inimitable transparency of water I imagined and dreamed of creating something equally as splendid by obtaining it directly from blocks of ice… and magically everything turned into crystal with the same powerful brilliance.

 

Ice Hotel

 

Ice Hotel

 

For the first time in my life, I was in a hurry to get back home in order not to forget all those places and all those images that my eyes had captured so that I could try to recreate them… in crystal.”

 

Andrea Falashi – Nuova CEV.

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