The business man, the artist, the person.
Describing his work, Luigi Cattelan says, "I am not an artist. I'm just someone who works with glass."
Born and raised in Murano (Venice) Italy, Luigi comes from a family of glass masters, dating as far back as the 15th Century!
For Luigi, glass and bead making is not a novelty but rather a way of life. It's in his blood, his culture, his ancestry, and it's in his economy where he has lived his whole life - in Murano - the island where the art of blowing glass originated approximately 500 years ago.
Surrounded by glass artists and craftsmen, furnaces, factories, glass stores, and glass lingo, it was only a matter of time before he would follow the family tradition and work within the glass industry.
For 20 years, Luigi worked as the director of production in the oldest glass factory in Murano: the Societa' Veneziana Conterie founded in 1893. Due to foreign competition from the Czech and Asian markets (who could hire cheap labor and pay low taxes), the S.V.C., which produced chevron and seed beads, was forced to close down in 1992, and as a result, Luigi was left without a steady job.
It was then that he decided to use his experience and skills into making beads on his own.
He has since launched the chevron bead back into the Italian and African markets. Using the compositions of glass from the S.V.C., as well as from his grandfather and great-grandfathers, Luigi is the only remaining Muranese who continues to produce chevron beads. And if that's not enough, where "another man's junk is another man's treasure", Luigi, while forging through old warehouses and factories on the island, has come upon many kilos of old and rare chevron cane, which he then makes into beads. It is these beads that remind him of the past... an innate appreciation and understanding that he values dearly... a respect to the memory of the Muranese glass masters who went before him.
Luigi also makes blown glass beads, lampworked candy beads, and blows small perfume bottles and vessels.