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“It’s not just about glassware. It’s about being contemporary.”

Marcantonio Brandolini

THE GOTO

Everything started when Marie Brandolini invented the Goto in 1994. A Parisian glass design pioneer, she was inspired by the informal glass cups the Murano masters made using leftovers from their work in the furnace. Amused by this “pure game of chance,” Marie reinterpreted the process to create the Goto collection, combining traditional Murano techniques with an innovative, pop aesthetic approach.

Marie Brandolini in the Furnace with a Master Glassmaker. [second half 1990s]

Polaroid picture taken by Marie Brandolini. She used to take a Polaroid of every glass she sold, writing down the customer’s name and the date of delivery. This selection of glasses was intended for Teresa Ciani of Elle Decor Italia. (1995)

After moving to Venice in 1988, leaving behind her job in New York, Marie could finally pursue her creative talent. An idea had clicked in her mind after her stepfather gifted her a stock of old goti de fornasa from a nearby antique shop. These glasses were traditionally made by casually mixing glass scraps without worrying about their appearance. Moreover, used by the glass masters to drink from during their workdays, the goto de fornasa wasn’t meant to leave the furnace. Nonetheless, Marie saw in their varied aesthetics the opportunity to create something new and personal. She reinterpreted this undefined process and designed her Goto in 1994. The same year, she established Laguna~B’s first studio out of her penthouse in Palazzo Brandolini.

A CONTEMPORARY APPROACH

With the Goto collection, Marie redefined what “contemporary” meant in the glass field. She adopted a personal, experimental approach to production and insisted on having full control of every aspect of the process, spending entire days in the furnace with the glass masters. 


In business, too, her vision was ahead of her time. Laguna~B was the first Murano glass company to go direct-to-consumer, launching its first website in 2001. This direction came naturally, as Marie prioritized friendship and straightforward communication with her clients, with whom she corresponded frequently.

Marie Brandolini in the Furnace during the production of Laguna~B glasses. (October 1997)

Melody Ann Eckert to Marie Brandolini: 'Dear Marie, thank you for so gracionaly allowing yourself...'. (11 December 1997)

After apprehending the process the masters followed to make the goti de fornasa, Marie codified her own recipes and methods. She meticulously designed each piece herself, selecting and assembling bits of glass canes and murrine with the greatest care, always ensuring the glasses didn’t look too perfect or too similar. Her designs celebrated diversity and irregularity as the distinctive characteristic of objects made by the human hand. 

In a 1996 Archive letter, Marie gives a detailed description of the making process, which hasn’t changed since: “The maestro takes a pear-size quantity of burning glass from his kiln and dips it in a colored glass powder that determines the background color. Afterward, he puts it back in the kiln so the powder melts well into the glass. He then rolls this glass pear onto a small iron table on which I've placed the elements forming a design and picks them up. Once they are well embedded in the glass, he starts to blow and shape it.” Afterward, the glasses are left to rest in a kiln at decreasing temperature until the following morning.

THE EVOLUTION

The international press loved the story of the “Glass Countess,” and within a short time, Marie’s iconic tumblers were on display worldwide in some of the major department stores. The Goto’s instant success – combined with Marie’s ambition and creativity – spurred the design of other collections like the Berlingot, inspired by the eponymous striped French candies; The Filigrana, the Bolle, the Margherite, and the Dune collections followed.

Fax sent to Marie Brandolini by Barbara Delius, a journalist from AD Germany, thanking her for the glasses she received. (18 January 2001)

Bus advertising showing Laguna~B glasses at Gump’s, in San Francisco, our first ever American retailer. (1997)

Marie Brandolini conceived Laguna~B’s glasses as collectible, functional art. The uniqueness and story of each piece, as well as the creativity and the talent that the Goto incorporates, make it the perfect collectors’ piece even now. Often imitated, each Goto has its own glass “recipe” and secrets about colors and compositions.

Many of the letters, gifts, and greeting cards found in the Archive testify to the frequent and depth of relationships Marie established with whomever entered her world, especially her clients. Since 1994, many have become collectors and some of Marie’s Goti have been sold in international auctions.

A NEW GENERATION  

Marie’s son, Marcantonio Brandolini, took over the company in 2016 as Laguna~B’s artistic director. Marie was the one who set the innovative, experimental approach that still characterizes the company today, whereas Marcantonio evolved it, making “being contemporary” his main mission. Putting creativity and authorship at its core, Laguna~B’s identity is based on values like authenticity, diversity, and a steadfast commitment to nature, investing in culture and young talents.

Advertising campaign for Laguna~B’s Venice store, Spazio. (2024)

View of Laguna~B’s storefront, Spazio, with its signature fountain display. (2023)

Still working with the glass masters in Murano, Marcantonio developed new collections like the Berlingot Evo, the Berlingot Evo 2, and the Tropicana. He also launched a continuously evolving collection of limited edition pieces, pushing the boundaries of traditional techniques and offering a broader variety of glasses that would encourage diversity and playfulness at the table.

THE TEAM

Under Marcantonio’s guide, Laguna~B is evolving into the point of reference in collectible glassware. Looking to fulfill the highest quality standards, the company produces its hand-blown signature pieces with the help of experienced glass masters in Murano. Marcantonio believes in fostering and investing in human creativity and skills at all levels. For this reason, everything at Laguna~B is carefully made by talented human beings. Today, a young and dynamic team of 12 passionately manages every aspect of the business, from production to communication, advertisement, and sales.

A glimpse of how the Pancho limited edition vases are produced. (17 October 2023)

Note from Marcantonio Brandolini’s creative process. (2023)

Laguna~B’s ambition to play a relevant role in the contemporary cultural landscape extends its influence beyond the drinking glass: a curated dispatch of mixed editorial content is delivered monthly to subscribers; limited edition publications are developed every year and shared with friends and clients; new projects are carried out yearly;

The first store, Spazio, opened in Venice in 2023. It features a fountain of glasses installation and a library; Laguna~B’s ideal tablescape defies conventional rules and favors experimentation, expression, and creativity.

The commitment towards reducing our environmental impact resulted in VITAL, a natural capital restoration project carried out in collaboration with We Are Here Venice that intends to offset the company’s emissions locally. Since 2021, Vital has been led by a team of experts working to restore the Venetian lagoon’s endangered marshes and their ability to stock CO2.          

This webpage was curated by Promemoria Group and Accurat Studio. To get full access to Laguna~B’s digital archive, fill the form below.