2 May 2016

Fontana Luce Light Lab, a true artisan in Trieste

My favorite handmade light shades!

Alessio Fontana comes from a family of artists: at the beginning of the 50s his mother started creating lovely light shades, in a workshop in Galleria Rossoni in Trieste.

This passion has been passed on through generations, as they moved from the centre of town to Gretta, on the outskirts of town for a while, and then moved back to the centre in the first years of 2000. In their atelier in via Mercandante, Alessio starts running the shop, leading and developing the family’s artistic skills.


Just a few months ago, Alessio opened a new space in via Diaz 14, that truly lights up the streets of local artists in Trieste.





His light shades are created with great skill, unique items completely designed and created by Alessio, and his strongpoint is that of being able to satisfy even the most capricious requests of his clients, myself included! Exactly: he managed to shape my ideas, creating unique objects for a new project that I’ll be revealing very soon! After seeing some very particular light shades on the internet, we thought of some shapes and colours that would adapt to the rooms and he created exactly what I needed!





He works with the few light shade artisans left in Italy, that build the frames for the light shades, that then need to be covered with different materials: all kinds of natural fibres, like parchment from Spain, refined Italian fabric from Como, PVC from Germany. Here all plisse and sewing is done by hand, following the classic method, but that’s not all, because if you love vintage, or fabric salvaging, at Lumidarte you can layer your fabric with PVC, to create a light shade with particular shapes and sizes!







Last time I visited his show room I was fascinated by a lamp that was 2,5 metres tall, custom made for a hotel hall: Alessio also works with architects, designers and interior designers, not just for private clients, and together they try to find the best lighting solutions for their projects.






In the 90s he created all the light shades for the Astoria Hotel in Grado, recreating the Liberty style of the building, creating a fusion of styles and finding models from the 20s to recreate the same style in lighting. This was a job he worked on with the help of artists from Vienna, to try and recover the Austrian style of the belle epoque.

As a true artisan, he can also restore the electrical systems in old lamps, maintaining the original look but making them safer.


To admire his work you have to visit his atelier in via Diaz 14, in Trieste, because at the moment he doesn’t have a web site or a social media page for Fontana Luce Light Lab (but after I gave him a good telling off, he promised to get up to date!)

But here in my blog you can get an idea of his work…


Via Diaz 14, 34100 Trieste (TS)

Tel. 040.631367





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