ow that tablescaping is taken as seriously as the food, it’s easy to find that your kitchen cupboards are suddenly bursting with an array of colourful glasses, all poised and ready to coordinate with a rainbow-hued stack of napkins and tablecloths.
Gone are the simple days where we owned six plain tumblers and they were used for every occasion; colourful glassware is having a major moment in the spotlight.
It feels like a new collection or brand launches every week and I’ve had to clear an overflow cupboard to accommodate my growing collection.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels the uncontrollable pull of Murano swirls and colourful confetti splatters, with recent glassware collections by contemporary brand The Glass Studio and interior designers Sascal Studio selling out in a matter of hours.
Handmade Murano glassware is known for being spectacularly decorative and often commands a high price but what makes it so special? Alice Wawrik, founder of online interiors emporium By Alice says, “Italy – especially Venice – is known as being the epicentre of luxury glass. The historical techniques still used today have been passed down through generations, with only a small number of skilled glass makers remaining.”
“It’s so important to keep the art and traditional craftsmanship of the past alive. Each hand-blown Italian glass I sell has hundreds of years of history attached to it and I believe it’s so important to support talented makers. With my splattered glassware, the process of making them and adding the contrasting colour is fascinating! You don’t get that when everything is simply rolled off a conveyor belt.”
As well as livening up a simple glass of water or G&T, colourful glassware looks beautiful when used to dress a table – especially for lunch settings when the sunlight is shining through and casting colourful shadows.
For beautiful glassware that’s hand-blown in the UK, I love new launch Vanderohe Curio. I’ve also got a wonderful mix-and-match set of striped and swirled tumblers from Bias Editions.
For a one-stop tableware shop, Summerill & Bishop or The Conran Shop are great places to start and for affordable glassware, try Milagros on Columbia Road who has a wonderful array of Mexican glassware.
Consider whether you’re happy to hand-wash your glasses and if not (or if you’re particularly clumsy), choose more durable borosilicate glass.
Homeware Buying Manager at Liberty and expert tablescaper, Bryony Sheridan, says all rules around matching glassware can be ignored in favour of a more playful way of table dressing, “I love to have a kaleidoscope of glass on the table, it makes it more exciting for guests if you mix styles and shapes with no two pieces the same. Our Casa Celva glasses are traditionally hand-blown in Murano and you’ll find different varieties of the mille fleur appearing – the abnormalities and variations in handmade glasses only adds to their charm.”