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.

Seattleite Goes South for the Spring

Seattleite recently paid a visit to Tacoma to discover what the City of Destiny has to offer residents of its neighbor to the north.


“Compared to Seattle (especially these days), the pace there feels significantly slower, the streets emptier, the buildings lower,” shares Corinne Whiting, Seattleite contributor.  “Seattleites might not think of Tacoma for a nearby adventure, but traveling just 45 minutes (traffic depending) can prove a refreshing respite from the routine and familiarity of home.”

Whiting took time to explore Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Harmon Brewing Co., and Hotel Murano for a well-rounded arts and craft brew South Sound experience.

For more about Seattleite‘s weekend wanderings in Tacoma, click here.

Docent Traver Trip 2014

By Lena Gibson, Museum of Glass Docent

On a rainy Tuesday morning, five docents (Carol, Annette, Mary, Lysa, and I), two staff
members (Elisabeth and Bonnie), and two guests made our way to the Traver Gallery in Seattle using our Sound Transit bus system. We did not all ride the same bus, and in fact, two didn’t ride the bus at all. For those of us who did, it was a lot easier than driving, once we had figured out which bus to take, where to park, etc.

Bill Traver gave us an excellent tour of his gallery. We went to see two of our favorite artists, whose exhibits were closing soon. April Surgent spent time in Antarctica and used a time lapse technique with pinhole cameras to capture the light and ice and water and wildlife of the area. She then translated the images she captured into glass, using her unique technique of cameo carving into different colored layers of fused glass. She had made quite a few pieces for this exhibit and Mr. Traver told us each were sold already. 12

Then we went to another area of the gallery to look at the latest pieces from Preston Singletary, another favorite glass artist we were well acquainted with. In this exhibit, one of the new features were that there were pieces done in pastel colors, like golden yellow and salmon pink. There were three extremely large glass baskets that came with their own stands. Many of the hand sculpted figurines on Preston’s rattles now had the addition of locks of real human hair3456

It was interesting to see other works in the Traver Gallery, from Chihuly, Nancy Callhan, and many others. We were intrigued by fused cane works from Sean Albert.

We also went downstairs and around the corner to the Vetri Gallery. We saw some very nice pieces from Gabe Feenan, as well as many other nice works by different glass artists.


I took these photos, with the exception of the one with the pink and gold heads by Preston. That was taken by Mary Robinson.

After the galleries, most of us headed to Pike Grill Brewing Company for lunch and a chance to talk everything over. I learned a lot about Corning from Bonnie and her guest, Lee, who works there. The bus ride home was so much easier than a drive on I-5 south at that time of day.

Docent Trips and Tours

By Carla Bruno, Museum of Glass Docent

As part of their ongoing efforts to learn as much as possible about the world of glass art, Museum of Glass docents often enjoy the privilege of visiting with artists in their working environments. Two such special opportunities occurred recently.

In March, a group traveled to the Ballard district in Seattle to view an exhibit of modern Scandinavian glass at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Then, after lunching together, they met with Dante Marioni at his Fremont studio to talk with him about his work.

Museum of Glass docents with Dante Marioni (center) in his studio
Museum of Glass docents with Dante Marioni (center) in his studio

In April, another similar journey found our museum docents in the Fremont area of Seattle taking a tour of Fremont Antique Glass talking with its founder Jim Flanagan, and watching as cylinders of glass were blown and then turned into flat sheets of gorgeous, multi-hued glass. (Museum of Glass visitors see the work of Fremont Antique Glass, since they made the glass used for Cappy Thompson’s piece Gathering the Light in our Grand Hall.) After another fun lunch together, they then visited glass artist Ginny Ruffner in her Ballard home and studio. Having the opportunity to talk with Ginny and see her home and garden (which are also works of art) is such a special opportunity–one our docents greatly appreciate. “Being able to visit Ginny’s studio for the second time, to see the progression both in her work and the changes within the building (including adding on a garden room where she raises vegetables) was so rewarding,” noted Kathryn Hillig.

With Ginny Ruffner (in front) in her Ballard studio
With Ginny Ruffner (in front) in her Ballard studio

As you plan your next visit to Museum of Glass, please don’t forget a tour of the gallery exhibits with one of our engaging and knowledgeable docents. “Meeting the artists gave us the opportunity to ask questions and better understand their processes,” said Lysa Schloesser. As you can see, they have a wealth of information and experiences to share!

Art in Bloom: The 2014 Northwest Flower and Garden Show

By Alex Carr, Digital Media Coordinator

Earlier this month, the Northwest Flower and Garden Show debuted the Garden of Artful Delights, a unique collaboration between the Arboretum Foundation and Museum of Glass that paid tribute to artist Ginny Ruffner.

Among the many display gardens, this recreation of Ruffner’s own garden at her Seattle home featured glass art created by Ruffner during her January Visiting Artist Residency at Museum of Glass.


Although many of the glass leaves hanging from wooden beams in the garden were crafted in the MOG Hot Shop, seeing the finished garden for the first time was truly fascinating. The Seattle Times’ Pacific NW Magazine described Ruffner’s home and garden as “a kaleidoscopic explosion of color,” and this recreation certainly captured that energy.


The flora provided a fragrant and colorful contrast with the glass leaves and flowers, yet the blend of glass and the different plants appeared very natural. 

While the presence of glass art in the Garden of Artful Delights was expected, the appearance of glass in other display gardens was a pleasant surprise.

Wandering throughout the Garden Show, it seemed that glass appeared amongst floral displays at every turn. From a bold chandelier to colorful glass orchids, the display gardens’ use of glass certainly enabled them to live up to the Garden Show’s theme of “Art in Bloom.”



Alex Carr is the Digital Media Coordinator at Museum of Glass. When she’s not circulating the Hot Shop floor trying to get the perfect Instagram shot for the Museum, you’ll find her baking at home, running at Green Lake, or exploring Washington’s wineries.