Colorful, True Glass from Vetro Vero

Tucked away in Chester County, just south of Philadelphia, is a glass studio dedicated to creating refined, hand-blown and lead-free crystal in Venetian colors.

“We have high standards,” says Josie Gluck, partner in Vetro Vero (True Glass, in Italian) with Michael Schunke.  “We don’t call a piece finished until the line is the way we want it.”

Their glass clearly is influenced by artisans in Italy and Scandinavia, but also from knowing their materials over the course of time.  Gluck’s been working at the craft for 13 years and Michael, for 22.  They met when she served as his teaching assistant, first at Haystack Mountain School in Maine, and later at Penland in the mountains of North Carolina.

“Michael and I inspire each other,” she says.  “But we also listen to customer feedback and incorporate that as well.”

They use two basic color palettes – one bright and another that’s a little softer and perhaps more neutral.  Most pieces are detailed with 24-karat gold leaf and accents.  Their glass is smooth and clean, with a strong consideration for proportion and design as defined by function. 

“It’s for décor and home accessories, like decanters and tumblers,” she says.  “It’s visually functional too.”

Multiple pieces are designed to interact with each other, or the space in which they’re placed. Where they overlap, new colors are created.  “If you place a yellow bottle in front of a blue one, you’ll see green,” she says.

Their work stands apart from others, largely because of a sophisticated eye coupled with a high degree of consistency.  “We have a skill that allows us to control the material in ways we want to see evident in the work itself,” she says.

Not surprisingly, that’s not a skill that’s readily shared with the rest of the world.  While they welcome visitors for scheduled appointments, they do not offer glass-blowing demonstrations to the public.

The look and feel of the finished product will have to suffice.

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