(Mill Valley, California, 1964 - )
As a teenager in Seattle, Dante Marioni spent much time at the glass studios of his father (Paul Marioni, a pioneer in the Studio Glass movement) and his colleagues. After high school, he spent a year at Seattle’s Glass Eye studio, where he witnessed the work of Venice-trained Benjamin Moore, whose glassblowing focused on form and stressed simplicity, balance, and symmetry. As Marioni recalls, “I became enamored with the notion of making Venetian wineglasses for two reasons. First,... it was the most complete path to becoming a proficient glassblower. Second, Venetians, even at the expense of function, always seemed most concerned with form.” To build upon this, Marioni enrolled in the master class that Fritz Dreisbach, another Italian-trained artist, was teaching at Penland School of Crafts. In 1984 Marioni, only 20 years old, opened his studio in Seattle and began creating elegant vessels in the Venetian style. A year later he met the grand master of this technique, Lino Tagliapietra, who invited him to go to Venice to experience the technique first hand. Twenty years later the Venetian influence still permeates Marioni’s work.