Double Signature. A dialogue between design and artisanal excellence

Felix Muhrhofer
Fabrizio Travisanutto

Felix Muhrhofer designs stunning functional art by pushing the boundaries of terrazzo, but his dream has always been to collaborate with a mosaic artist. 
The universe complied with a chance to work with Fabrizio Travisanutto at the renowned mosaic studio founded by his father, Giovanni Travisanutto Srl. Fabrizio explains the technique as he shows him a six-meter-high portrait of Mary for a cathedral. Their joint project is not nearly as large, but it is a technical challenge to combine mosaic with terrazzo. Muhrhofer’s idea is to craft a series of tables in which a universe of terrazzo surrounds a mosaic planet. When they enter a storage room, Muhrhofer stops short.

The tiles come in hundreds and hundreds of colors, and he realizes he needs to redo his drawings –and to buy pencils in many, many more colors. The next day, he returns to the studio with more detailed drawings. Over the next several weeks he and Travisanutto are in frequent touch as they make their first table, testing and refining the process they worked out together. The terrazzo is poured into the mold around the mosaic, and some light years later, as Muhrhofer puts it, it is dry and ready to be polished. The result is remarkable: a glowing planet is suspended in a dark universe lit by a sparkling milky way. “It is convincing and space-like,” says Travisanutto, pleased that he managed to make the planets look three-dimensional. “I really think there could be a market for such a beautiful product.” Muhrhofer agrees: “If the market opens up, we absolutely will work together.”

Felix Muhrhofer
Felix Muhrhofer studied applied arts and industrial design at universities in Vienna and Barcelona. He has since developed a work method that connects a strong formal sense with the economy of craftsman production. One of his first design series was a modular kitchen system which includes a one-cast counter top that incorporates a sink, all handmade from terrazzo. His Magic Wall design allows pots, knifes, pans and other metal objects to be stored on a magnetic wall panel. Muhrhofer has also done stage design Vienna Boys’ Choir and the architectural design for Vienna’s famed R&BAR, which features his terrazzo bar. He will soon present his new collection of Lovelytables at Camp Design Gallery in Milan.
Fabrizio Travisanutto
Fabrizio Travisanutto works alongside his father, Giovanni Travisanutto, in one of the most celebrated mosaic studios in the world. After training in Spilimbergo’s famed mosaic school, the elder Travisanutto spent a decade working in the United States. He founded his atelier in Spilimbergo (in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region) upon his return in 1979. Today their mosaics are in numerous churches worldwide, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. They also decorate more than 40 subway stations in New York, and the airports of Washington D.C., Atlanta and Orlando. The company’s artisans are skilled in classic and byzantine mosaic techniques as well as modern methods.


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