This glassmaking specialist takes its name both from the small German town where it was founded in the early 20th century, and Italy’s design capital, where it moved to in the 1990s. Initially known for its precious glass ornaments, Ichendorf Milano now produces cutting-edge hand-blown glass tableware, working with contemporary Italian designers such as Corrado Dotti and Mist-o.
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The Story of Ichendorf Milano
Ichendorf began in the early 20th century in a small town near Cologne, called Quadrath-Ichendorf where the name originates. The glassmaking specialist moved to Milan in the 1990’s, hence the second part of the name: Milano. Ichendorf was initially known for its glass ornaments, but today produces cutting-edge hand-blown glass tableware and works with contemporary Italian designers, such as Corrado Dotti and Mist-O.
Precious ornaments using silica to give shape to objects defined many of Ichendorf Milano’s collections up until the 1950’s. After which the brand turned to clean shapes and purity of material in order to gain a transparency with no imperfections and so began the creation of objects with a modern design.
Relocating to Milan exposed the brand to light, swift forms, new creative ideas and the manipulation of substances by the master’s blow. At the root of Ichendorf Milano’s philosophy is the need for encountering tradition and innovation, ancient techniques and modern lines.
The first collection by Ichendorf Milano was named Röemer, released in 1921. Described as wonderful “jacketed” stem glasses and consisted of two overlapping layers of plate glass. The external coloured layer has cuts on the surface that bring to light the transparency of the internal layer, a play of light and glares.
A breakthrough collection was the brand’s Decò range in 2005. Made by Farti and Di Loreto, it is the first collection to be made from borosilicate glass and produced using a light glass-blowing technique. Light but solid material, acid resistant and thermal shock and scratch resistant. With this range Ichendorf Milano introduced handcrafted products, each one being unique.
The latest collection released by Ichendorf Milano was in 2017, entitled Greenwood. Clear and coloured glass that seems to originate from dreams and fairy tales, with natural elements of the forest decorating the handmade objects. Imagination comes to life in the collection, where an imaginary landscape sets a magical table spread.
The strength of the brand is testified by the longevity of its collections, some of which are 50 years old. Every single product centres on a new story and a new adventure, allowing designers and artists to get to the heart of the materials they are using, as well as the endless possibilities the design process involves. Longevity is guaranteed by meticulous collaboration work. Creation and ideas involve modern decoration and traditional materials that always respect history and expertise, right up until the point of manufacture.
In the hands of experienced craftsman, "the blow" is what brings matter to life and makes the unique shape. To create high quality, long lasting products it is obvious Ichendorf Milano has passion enough to learn the refined art through many years of study.
Ichendorf's Most Iconic Design Products
Tequila Sunrise Jug
Created in 2003, the Tequila Sunrise Jug is one of Ichendorf Milano’s most iconic products. Produced by Japanese-Italian studio Mist-O as part of the carafe collection comprising of glass jugs and bottles in various sizes. Every item is a juxtaposition its glass element in different colours, like deep amber, smoky grey and bottle green, which makes it look like they have liquid already inside. Each borosilicate glass piece was hand-blown in Italy.
Bouquet Vase Collection
This collection was designed by Japanese-Italian studio Mist-O. It features hourglass-shaped vases that have been hand-blown in Italy by Ichendorf Milano’s skilled craftsmen. The simple but effective design is perfect to display minimalist flower arrangements, or even a single statement. There are four different sizes and two glass options available.
Russo trained in painting and ceramics, with a varied career path. Today he runs his own studio, set up in 2010 and focusing on interiors and product design. It is here that Pietro Russo is able to bring to life his passion for interior architectural spaces and the recovery of traditional crafts. Using his own production processes and often in collaboration with Italian artisans, the result is usually a series of unique objects.
Sironi, an Italian architect, has a rigorous approached to design that involves focusing on usability and formal value, no matter the scale of the project. Every collection, consisting of glassware for the table, conveys particular attention to the detail, the quality of material and the technical processes used. With a background in construction industry, yacht design and glass and furnishing designs, Sironi believes that every object must be coherent to its materials and production processes, as well as being usable and formal.
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