Tag Archives: Murano

Five Minutes with Lino Tagliapietra

The Maestro returns to the Museum of Glass Hot Shop, October 26 through 28, for his third Visiting Artist Residency of the year! We caught up with him before he and his team arrive in the Hot Shop next week.

Lino Tagliapietra in the Museum of Glass. Photo courtesy of Museum of Glass.

Lino Tagliapietra in the Museum of Glass. Photo courtesy of Museum of Glass.

This is your third residency at Museum of Glass this year! Our visitors really enjoy seeing you work in the Hot Shop. What do you enjoy most about working at Museum of Glass?

What I really like about working at MOG is blowing glass with the Team in the Hot Shop!

How does the atmosphere of the hot shop shape your work?

What really shaped my way of working is the freedom that you can feel in the hot shop.

What advice do you have for aspiring glass artists?

I would love to tell them just three words: freedom, courage, and…a dash of luck!

Now for some fun questions. What is the first thing you do when you travel back to Italy?

The first thing I do when I go back to Murano is eat a plate of spaghetti with Italian broccolini. So good!

Which place has the best coffee – Seattle or Murano?

I like both, but at the moment I am missing the Murano one!

What is your favorite meal to cook for family and friends?

I love making sea snail soup. I like soup (sopa in the Venice dialect).

Plan a visit to Museum of Glass to see Visiting Artist Lino Tagliapietra working in the Hot Shop from October 26 through 28, or watch his residency online.

Lino Boats – A Rare Treat

By Greg Owen, Manager of Audience Engagement and Hot Shop Heroes 

Muranese Maestro Vetario (glass master) Lino Tagliapietra returns to the Museum of Glass Hot Shop this week with a very special project: boats. For those of you that are familiar with the way Lino usually works in our Hot Shop—jumping from piece to piece, series to series, taking time to craft small sake glasses or bowls along the way—watching the boats, from his Endeavor series, being made may seem quite different.

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Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Lino is an incredibly hard worker. He is always the last one to leave the floor for lunch, sometimes skipping the meal all together and subsisting on a few slices of fruit, and maybe a few slices of Mortadella. Or, on the other extreme, he may decide to stop blowing and cook lunch for his entire team, which happened last year when he cooked a huge and delicious paella for the entire Hot Shop Team. It was magnifico!

Lino Cooking

Beyond the accumulated knowledge of the chef, paella is dependent on succulent, fresh seafood to be successful. This is where the boats come in. Lino’s home is in Murano, Italy, which is an island off the coast of Venice in the Venetian Lagoon. While the central islands that make up the heart of historical Venice are connected to mainland Italy by a rail and auto causeway, life in Murano can best be described by its relationship to the sea, and to glass.

Canal

Lino has said that his Dinosaur series was partially inspired by the marine life of canals and lagoon, which is readily apparent in the massive yet gracefully balanced forms. His boats are a more literal translation, but not necessarily of the familiar Venetian gondolas that you might imagine. Lino spoke with curator Annegreth Nill about the Endeavor series in The Art of Lino Tagliapietra: Concerto in Glass at Columbus Museum of Art in 2003.

“I had the idea to do boats for many years. I seriously started making them in 1995. The shape is very organic. I especially liked the boats designed by the Vikings. I also like many things about the canoe, not the canoe of the native North Americans, but of the people of the Amazon. (Such as Jeff Bezos, ed.) It has a very simple shape and a very long point.”

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

If you have never had the opportunity to see Lino creating boats from the Endeavor series, come down to Museum of Glass this weekend, July 30-31. The Museum will be open at 9 am on Saturday for members and 10 am for the general public. The Museum will open to everyone at 9 am on Sunday.

Greg Owen is the Manager of Audience Engagement and Hot Shop Heroes at Museum of Glass. Greg can be seen working the mic as the Hot Shop studio emcee, assisting Visiting Artists, and teaching soldiers how to blow glass during Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire classes. 

Shelley Muzylowski Allen on Nature, Glass, and Gender

By Hillary Ryan, Director of Marketing and Communications

Nestled in the North Cascades, Shelley Muzylowski Allen welcomed us to her home and studio, earlier this year, to learn more about her and her work. She shared with us a story about the deer that visit her cherry tree and showed us her amazing collection of rocks, many of which find their way into her sculpture. With her relaxed manner and warm smile, it’s easy to see how her personality is reflected in her approachable and beautiful creations. We look forward to welcoming her back to the Hot Shop this April.

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Horses seem to be the focus of your current work. What is your connection to horses?

Horses have been a recurring form in my work since my early paintings and drawings in childhood. I felt very connected to their form and more importantly, our relationship with them and what they have meant to us and our civilization throughout history.

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About 10 years ago, my father gave credence to this relationship when he told me that he had found evidence that our eastern European family name traced back to early cavalry who roamed the Eurasian Steppes on horseback and were among the early domesticators of horses.

Although many members of my family raised horses, I was never as interested in riding them as I was in drawing or painting them. My feeling of connection to them always made me a little uneasy and I have tried to venture away from rendering their form many times.

Since your last residency at Museum of Glass, what have you been up to?

During my last residency at MOG in 2009, I created a new body of work that I titled the Netsuke Pots—a series that would give reverence to commonplace creatures and would be created devoid of color. This body of work opened up new avenues in my creative thought and allowed me to concentrate on different forms of flora and fauna and gesture and incorporate more narrative in the pieces.

I’ve since been developing these ideas, capturing a moment in time, or timelessness, creating tension in the pieces and exhibiting my work as much as I physically can. I’ve been collecting large rocks and using them to dynamically support the glass form and become part of the visual field. The texture and colors of both rock and glass contrast and complement each other—adding to the visual tension and the composition and feeling evoked being very similar to a scene painted in oils.

In 2012, I was invited to Murano to continue making a body of work with Davide Salvadore that we had started at Pilchuck. I had been intrigued and mystified by the horse-headed violins of Mongolia. We explored that concept and created 12 animal-headed instruments. In 2016, we are planning to make another collaborative body of work.

When I’m not in the hot shop…

I discovered aerial yoga and practice this weekly. Doing inversions and hanging from the silks can decompress and balance my spine after standing on concrete and working asymmetrically in the hot shop. Rik and I also like to get outdoors and hike or go to the San Juan islands on our little Boston Whaler. On these trips I’ve often found the rocks that I use in my work.

What precipitates a collaboration with your husband and fellow artist Rik Allen? How do you plan and work together to execute your collaborative pieces?

Although we don’t work in the hot shop together as frequently as we used to, Rik and I collaborate in many ways in our life together. It often comes in the form of dialogue as we discuss each other’s respective work and offer our insights or ideas to each other. We rely on each other’s strengths and find balance in doing this. Rik and I have taught many workshops and really enjoy teaching together. Our demonstrations are often collaborations made in the hot shop to illustrate effective communication and teamwork as part of our teaching curriculum. We spend time talking about the theme and drawing it until we are both satisfied with the idea and design.

What do you think are the challenges for women working in glass?

Working with glass, especially hot glass requires extreme focus, stamina and perseverance. You have to be willing to work extremely hard and work because you love the medium and not because you have certain expectations of the end result. The learning curve is steep which may deter a number of people of both genders.

The glass world largely in the past was male dominated. I’ve heard from a few women that this held them back from pursuing a career with hot glass. I don’t believe that this is the current situation in this country. The opportunities are out there for both men and women. Men generally have a stronger physical build so in some specific cases that may be the reason for their hiring. Staying healthy and in good physical shape can help for both genders in working with this medium. When I went to Murano, many of the maestros had never seen a woman working at her own bench before.  I was nervous about what their reaction might be but I was treated very well and with respect for my physical space and my work.

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Shelley Muzylowski Allen will be the Visiting Artist in the MOG Hot Shop from April 6 – 10, 2016 through Fuel Their Fire IV. Learn more about her work at muzylowski.com.