Lino's legacy in art and in glass, and the story of his teaching, is more resilient than any single thing he has made—it cannot be taken from him, it cannot be tarnished, it cannot be undone, it will be unbroken.
Victoria Milne, New York, 1996
Lino Tagliapietra is the living embodiment of a 1000-years of Venetian glassmaking tradition. Apprenticed in a factory at eleven years of age, he became an acknowledged “Maestri Vetrai” at twenty-one. In the long career that has followed, Lino has worked with innumerable artists, designers and craftsman. When there was something to learn he absorbed it, adding to his ever-expanding library of ideas and techniques. Now in his sixties Tagliapietra, has dedicated more than half a century to his craft. In the alchemy of glassmaking, Lino the man has been transformed as well. No longer a master glass blower on the provincial island of Murano, he has become a distinguished international artist. No other person in the glass community is looked upon with greater admiration and respect.
Tagliapietra’s current success is beyond anything a young man on Murano might have imagined. Good fortune has played its part, but more critically, immense talent, keen intelligence and total dedication were the factors that allowed Lino to grasp the opportunities fate offered. His willingness to embrace change and accept risk has also served him well. After three decades of factory life a watershed meeting with Dutch glass artist Andreas Copier first opened him to the possibilities of personal artistic expression through glass. Later, in 1979 an invitation to teach in America led to successive summers at the Pilchuck School in Washington State. There he was immersed in an experimental environment that liberated an explosive creative force in him that continues unabated.
Lino Tagliapietra’s importance comes from his achievements as artist and teacher. As the consummate master of blown glass he is a role model with unparalleled skills. As a teacher he’s proven to be an inspiring mentor who has had a profound impact on his field. It is a tribute to his generous spirit that he has shared skills and insights acquired over a lifetime with so many others. As is often the case, giving has resulted in receiving as much in return.
A place of honor has already been reserved for Lino Tagliapietra in the annals of glass. His works are universally recognized as boldly innovative statements in the golden chain of glass history. While their roots are instantly recognizable, they are uniquely Tagliapeitra, embodying great craftsmanship charged by original vision. Yet, in spite of his impressive accomplishments and the demanding physical nature of his art, each year Lino undertakes more ambitious projects. Now, his tour-de-force individual pieces are complimented by complex groupings and installations. Fleets of long graceful boats, walls of sinuous “batmen” and the complex Masai installations offer irrefutable testimony that Lino Tagliapietra’s range is inexorably expanding. At an age when many seek retirement this gentle giant of glass is still growing and exploring.
Additional Available Works