Laura de Santillana’s ease with glass is reflected in her confidence in pushing the limits of technique, and in her personal history. She is the granddaughter of Paolo Venini, founder of the Venini glassworks on Murano, and the daughter of Ludovico Diaz de Santillana, the firm’s director from 1959 until 1986. Internationally recognized for its progressive design policies, Venini was the first glasshouse in Italy to expand the parameters of art glass production by inviting outside artists, designers, and architects to work with its glass masters. Subtle, quiet, and sensuous, Santillana’s work is quintessentially modern, and like the best of vintage Venini glass, it is innovative, classic, and experimental. Although her glass is no longer related to Venini production, she—more than anyone else—is heir to Venini’s artistic legacy. For Cristallo e bronzo, Santillana first created a vessel of colorless glass. During blowing, the vessel was manipulated with cork paddles into a flattened square form with a thick rim and a solid base. Santillana considers this vessel as a “pocket” for ephemeral but essential substances, such as breath. The bronze form, which was cast from the glass vessel, mirrors it and gives the transparent, cloudy glass a feeling of gravity and weight. Santillana describes her technique for this sculpture as “blown and compressed glass with cast bronze shadow.” Signed “Laura de Santillana” on the glass vessel. For more information on Laura de Santillana’s work, see Attilia Dorigato, Janet Koplos, and Barry Friedman, Murano/Venice: Three Artists, Three Visions: Cristiano Bianchin, Yoichi Ohira, and Laura de Santillana, Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, 2009.