The award-winning designer behind FFERRONE and ‘those’ glasses we can’t get enough of.
FFERRONE glassware is unique because of the statuesque shape that they come in. The liquid containers sit atop clear reeded glass that’s been shaped into a hollowed column, which gives the glassware a modern visual identity. They are all handmade, specialty items that reflect Felicia Ferrone’s, the designer's philosophy: that products should be as visually remarkable as they are functional. This balance between utility and aesthetics renders the glassware into art pieces that also act as an integral element to any table setting. Not only does her glassware elevate the appearance of a tablescape, but they also serve an explicit purpose.
The fferrone glassware ideology harkens back to Felicia Ferrone’s background in architecture. Her emphasis on context, utility, and adding to the appearance of spaces with her glassware is comparable to designing a structure or a habitable space. The Chicago based designer began her career in the visual arts at Miami University of Ohio, where she graduated with a degree in architecture. Not long after, Ferrone moved to Milan, where she was inspired by the cityscape and her colleagues and was driven to start her handmade glassware and furniture designs. The luxury brand is now based out of both Chicago and Milan and has garnered recognition all over the world, specifically for fferrone glassware.
We sat down with Felicia Ferrone to discuss her oeuvre further.
When did you know it was time to create fferrone?
I decided to begin my own design studio and brand after being frustrated with licensing agreements for numerous reasons. I realized only I could capture and bring to life my designs in the best way possible. They are, after all, my visions. The design of an object does not end with the object but extends its essence through the imagery that captures its story through to how they are used, displayed at exhibitions and shows and to the partnerships we have around the world. It is about one single vision which encompasses all aspects of design blurring the boundaries from concept to packaging, exhibition, and the visual communication.
What led you toward the home goods sector of design?
I have always been obsessed with the domestic sphere ever since I was a child. I had a small house in our backyard and I would constantly redesign it. Though I worked for many years as an architect in firms that did large scale architectural projects, I found my true passion to be in the domestic scale with everything from the built structure to the interior to the objects and furniture held within. It’s about the human connection and joys of everyday living that excite me. The emotions that come from our homes through the things in our lives that we interact with on a daily basis. This is more critical now than ever that our homes are our worlds and should bring us joy.
How do you see your background in architecture reflected in your glassware design?
Absolutely! They are inseparable to me. Design is small scale architecture. Whether I am inspired by Brutalism of the 60s which inspired the Body Collection or the world famous Marina Towers in Chicago which inspired the Flight Collection to the Revolution Collection, which was my first foray into design, is driven by architectural ideas such as landscape, datums, and systems.
Why glassware? Why not another material?
I work in all materials actually; all natural materials such as wood, marble, metal, and glass. As a designer it is about the concept and then the material which best accomplishes the realization, message and meaning. My glassware designs have become iconic in that the designs were the first to really push the boundaries of what a contemporary glass could be beginning back in 2001 with the Revolution Collection and thus went on to define a market niche. My work extends beyond the tablescape into furniture, lighting, and bespoke commissions.
What is your ideal tablescape?
Setting the table, mixing and matching glassware with vintage dishes and ice bucket for cocktails. After dinner I love seeing the empty glasses, dirty plates, lots of laughter and the memories of the night.
How would you describe your craft in three words?
Experimental, original, sophisticated, whimsical