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Lino Tagliapietra

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Lino Tagliapietra
(Murano, Italy, 1934 - )

Lino Tagliapietra was born in 1934 on the island of Murano in Venice, Italy. Given that the craft of glassblowing was the primary skill of its inhabitants, and that works of renown had been manufactured on the island for centuries, Lino’s destiny was sealed well before he was able to hold a blow pipe. By the age of 11 he had taken an apprenticeship with one of the island’s most respected practitioners; Archemede Seguso. After studying with Seguso for 10 years, and moving up through the highly regimented guild system of Murano, Tagliapietra was declared a maestro, or master, of glass at the age of 21.
During the 1960s Lino worked exclusively in Italy for a number of high profile traditional Murano studios, including Venini, and Effetre International. By the next decade, he had refined his technique and began participating in the La Scuola Internazionale del Vetro held in Murano. It was at these conferences that Tagliapietra began to exchange ideas with both other glassblowers and artists from other countries and disciplines as well. After these symposia, he met and began a collaborative relationship with the Dutch glass designer A. D. Copier, who taught him to appreciate what he had first learned as a craft as an art form instead.
With this new perspective and the lessons that he had learned from his 1979 American teaching experience at the influential Pilchuck School in Seattle, Washington, Lino Tagliapietra embarked on a journey that freed him from the factory workshop system and set him up to experiment with new forms, techniques and collaborations. By 1988, Tagliapietra had begun to develop his signature style of glass; the result of decades of Venetian training and recent collaborations.
It was during this same year that he was appointed lead gaffer for celebrated American glass artist Dale Chihuly. Using sketches that Chihuly produced, as well as his own skill and strength, their partnership produced some of Chihuly’s most vibrant works, the Venetian series, and led Chihuly to call Lino “perhaps the world’s greatest living glassblower”.
Having established a reputation within the international glass world as a formidable technician and artist, Tagliapietra began to also become known as a generous and supportive teacher. His glass has been shown throughout the world, including most recently a retrospective entitled Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass, which was on view at the Smithsonian Museums Renwick Gallery from September 2008 through January 2009.
“Lino Tagliapietra- The Artist”, Susan K. Frantz, “Lino Tagliapietra: Creativity and Artistry in Glass”in Tagliapietra: a Venetian Glass Maestro, (Dublin: Links for Publishing, Ltd., 1998): 11. “Lino Tagliapietra- The Artist”,
Ron Glowen, “Venetians” in Venetians: Dale Chihuly (New York: Twin Palms Publishers, 1989), “Lino Tagliapietra Biography”, HYPERLINK "" Matthew Kangas, “What America Taught Lino”, Glass Quarterly 104 (Fall 2006): 53 “Current Exhibitions”, HYPERLINK ""
SM 10/09

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