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  • Stefania Gioia

Attombri: the Impiraresse's Heritage

Updated: Oct 10, 2018

Two brothers in Venice keep alive the impiraresse's craft tradition with style and innovation.

Sitting in small circles right in front of their doorsteps, young and elderly women called impiraresse used to practice one of the most traditional and less paid handicrafts in the history of Venice. The activity, common till the beginning of 1900 in the sestieri of Cannaregio and Castello and on Murano island, consisted in threading colorful glass beads in order to create necklaces and other elegant ornaments. As a matter of fact, in Venetian dialect impirar means “to thread”.

Now almost forgotten, the activity is kept alive in Venice by a few artisans who reinterpreted the job and were able to create authentic works of art. Among them, certainly stand out Daniele and Stefano Attombri, two brothers that, about 30 years ago, took over an abandoned bead factory or conteria, and started to work with glass and wire.


Definitely men of few words, the brothers talk about their craftwork as it was the most natural activity in the world, even when their story is featured on The New York Times and their objects are constantly requested by several fashion houses to complete visionary looks.

As the impiraresse used to work from the dawn’s first lights till late at night, losing their sight in some cases, the Attombris dedicated the entire work life to design elegant objects, research and improve their techniques. Assembling antique materials with flexible metals, always strictly Italian, they give life to original sculptures made to be worn almost as magic tools.

Avoiding gaudy colors and taking inspiration from Oriental shapes, the artisans create stunning jewels that recall the mysterious world of mother nature.

Extremely appreciated in Japan, that for the brothers has always been a brilliant source, the stunning objects have overseas a very interesting market. Extraordinarily loved by Italian women (Venetian ladies love to visit the small workshop, located close to Rialto market), they found new shapes and functions when combined with Dolce & Gabbana collections and in Romeo Gigli’s fashion shows.

Artists such as Lucio Bubacco, a major master of the lamp working art, ordered selected pieces to complete his incredible sculptures, then also exhibited at the Tel Aviv museum. This fine example, showing once again how in Venice craft and art projects find their best expression, proves that the city is also made of competent people who are not willing to leave: on the contrary, they are grateful to be part of the journey, and not just as a pleased audience.

Have a Glass on Venice is happy and proud to introduce you to these people during its urban tours off the beaten path.

Find more info at: http://www.attombri.com/en/

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