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Lino Tagliapietra In Residence January 27-31

View photos from his residency at PGC.

Pittsburgh Glass Center is honored to welcome Lino Tagliapietra, widely regarded as the best glassblower in the world, to our studios for the very first time. He has had a lasting impact on American studio glassblowing and is responsible for sharing techniques and processes from his native Murano with early studio glass artists here in the U.S. 

Glass is a wonderful material. Why? Because the glass is alive. Even when it is cool, it is still moving. It is connected with fire, it is connected with water, it is so natural. Glass is my life. - Lino Tagliapietra

LINO TAGLIAPIETRA is an influential Italian glass artist and master glassmaker who is recognized for his skills and talents throughout the world. Born on the island of Murano, neighboring Venice in the Venetian Lagoon, the artist started from a very young age working at the island’s glass furnaces and factories. Lino was soon regarded as a Maestro (master glass blower) in his early 20’s and granted with that title in the 1950’s, at a time when he worked for some of the most prestigious glassworks companies in Murano. During the 1960’s Lino started expressing his own forms of creativity through the design and execution of models with high technical and aesthetic quality, which earned him significant commercial success. 

In 1979, the Italian glass maestro came to the United States to teach at Pilchuck School in the Seattle, thus beginning a long history of sharing his centuries old technical knowledge with American glass artists. The glass artists of the then burgeoning American studio glass movement were hungry for Lino's technical knowledge and Lino, in turn, was greatly effected by the artistic freedom and experimentalism he observed in his American counterparts. In the 1980's Lino was best known for the collaborative work he did with several American artists, including Dale Chihuly and Dan Dailey. But in the 1990's, although he continued to teach and collaborate widely in the U.S., Tagliapietra began to be widely recognized for his own unique works of art.

Since 1990 Lino has become a free practicing artist of glass without any contractual binds or obligations, and he is now fully dedicated to creating his unique pieces that are present in some of the most prestigious museums throughout the world, including Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the De Young Museum of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, The Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, as well as numerous galleries and private collections.

Through his continued creative experimentation and mastered skills, Lino has developed a very personal style that is unmistakable and easily recognized, thus his exemplary practice is followed by many as a great source of inspiration.

Both creator and executor of his works, his creativity is upheld by production skills that come from a life of experience; and it is through that wealth that he continually explores the possibilities of a perfect execution. This is further enhanced by his personal experiences, encounters and exchanges, as well as a wide variety of different interests, where the glass however always takes first place priority.

He tends to create his blown glass sculpture in various series. Often his series are named after famous places that Lino has visited: Bilbao, Seattle Sunset, Maui and Borneo are examples of these series. Others of Lino Tagliapietra's glass series are named for their familiar shapes: Dinosaur, Foemina (Italian for female), Angel Tear and Masai (after the Masai shields) are examples of Lino glass pieces whose shapes either obviously or more subtly refer to specific forms.

Upcoming 2014 Residencies

Nadine Saylor - March 2014

Jennifer Umphress - April 2014

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