In the annals of glass making, the name Murano, a cluster of small island 1.5 km north of Venice, unfailingly inspires a sense of awe. For centuries, it was the center of European glass making, and even though the industry has shrunk since it peaked in the 16th century, today world-renowned glass-blowers still hone their craft in family-run furnaces on Murano, much as their predecessors did since Roman times.
To become a master is no easy feat — those who choose a life of fire typically begin an apprenticeship in their teens and train for at least 15 years until they are allowed to work as a humble laborer in a furnace. To become a master glass-blower, they must demonstrate special talent — and not everyone has what it takes.
Among the most revered names in Murano glass art is Lino Tagliapietra, who is widely regarded as the greatest exponent in the modern revival of Venetian glassblowing. Born in Murano in 1934, Tagliapietra started apprenticeship at the age of eleven, perfecting his glassblowing skills through years of observation, repetition and production. In his long career, he has experimented with different possibilities of the material, creating evocative works that combine unusual shape washed with a palette of vibrant colors. His works have been exhibited in private galleries as well as prestigious museums such as the Victoria and Albert in London, the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. For the past three decades, Tagliapietra has generously shared his and knowledge of traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques with younger artists and audiences around the world, sparking a new renaissance in this ancient art form.
Selected Works of Lino Tagliapietra