Time of Lino
For Lino Tagliapietra, glass art represents his life: Venice and the lagoon, its shadow and light. "It is part of my culture, my brain, my blood," he says. Raised on the island of Murano, Tagliapietra rose from a working class family and a minimal education to become an internationally acknowledged glass artist and maestro, an honor given to the most highly recognized of Italian glassmakers.
Tagliapietra worked exclusively on Murano until coming to the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington at the invitation of Benjamin Moore in 1979. Working with unfamiliar tools and speaking no English, Tagliapietra created unique pieces of glass using techniques that had rarely, if ever, been seen in the United States at that time. Despite the tradition of secrecy surrounding Italian glassblowing, he imparted knowledge to his students and colleagues, believing that keeping tradition and history alive is of the greatest importance.
While he was not the first to leave the island and its glass companies for independent work, Tagliapietra did become the first Murano artist to experience widespread international recognition, particularly in the United States. He combines techniques that are rooted in the thousand-year-old Venetian glassmaking tradition and brings fresh and creative perspectives to art in glass. Tagliapietra's work stands within the grandest tradition of the decorative arts, an honored discipline of unabashed beauty and exquisite craftsmanship.