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Lino Tagliapietra, 2020. Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA. Photograph by Amalgamation Pictures. FRONT COVER. Lino Tagliapietra Seattle Showroom, 2020. Photograph by Amalgamation Pictures.
LINO TAGLIAPIETRA SEATTLE SHOWROOM 2006 2ND AVE SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98121 PHONE: (206) 420-4867 EMAIL: INFO@LINOTAGLIAPIETRA.COM SHOWROOM SUMMER HOURS: MONDAY - THURSDAY | 11 AM - 4 PM FRIDAY | 11 AM - 6 PM SATURDAY | 11 AM - 4 PM SUNDAY | CLOSED TO JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER CLICK HERE! @LINOTAGLIAPIETRA @LINOTAGLIAPIETRA FOR INFORMATION ON PRICING AND AVAILABILITY PLEASE CONTACT THE SEATTLE STUDIO
Published by Lino Tagliapietra Inc. Photographs Â© Lino Tagliapietra Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means of electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without permission of the publisher.
THE MAESTRO | LINO TAGLIAPIETRA Lino Tagliapietra was born in 1934 in Murano, Italy and became an apprentice glassblower at 11 years old. Even at a young age, Lino exhibited an immense dexterity for glass and was appointed the title of Maestro, an honor reserved for only the best glassblowers, when he was just 21 years old. In 1979 Lino visited Seattle for the first time and introduced students at the Pilchuck Glass School to the long tradition of Venetian glassblowing. This crosscultural collaboration helped shape the identity of American glassblowing and offered Lino an opportunity to expand his horizons internationally. Since 1990 Lino has worked as an independent artist, producing works without contractual obligation. His unique pieces are present in some of the most prestigious museums throughout the world, including the De Young Museum of San Francisco, the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, as well as various other private collections. Now in his mid 80s, with over 70 years of experience, the Maestro splits his time between Murano and Seattle. He continues to exercise his prodigious technical skill and creative experimentation, producing works that both inspire and amaze.
Lino Tagliapietra, 2020. Area 253 Glassblowing, Tacoma, WA. Photographs by Amalgamation Pictures.
The artistâ€™s Seattle Studio, the epicentre of Linoâ€™s artworks in the Pacific Northwest, underwent a renovation in 2017 and is now a showroom housing a selection of these incredible creations. Just steps away from Pike Place Market, the Seattle Studio is open to the public and also offers private tours by appointment. Admission to the studio is free. The following pages feature works by the Maestro that are currently exhibited in the Seattle showroom.
Lino Tagliapietra, 2020. Area 253 Glassblowing, Tacoma, WA. Photographs by Amalgamation Pictures.
Lino Tagliapietra, 2020. Area 253 Glassblowing, Tacoma, WA. Photograph by Amalgamation Pictures.
The basis for many of Linoâ€™s artworks are murrine. Murrine are essentially cross-sections of glass canes, which have been cut down to small individual pieces. Lino creates his own murrine, not only choosing the colors and design, but even chemically composing each hue specifically. Having bundled the canes in the correct design, the bundles are heated, stretched, and cooled, then finely chopped down into the individual murrini. When he is ready to blow a new vessel, Lino begins by grouping the murrine on a ceramic plate and then gathering them around a clear sphere of glass. This sphere is then blown and shaped into a larger vessel. While many of the vessels exhibited here take hours, or even days to be blown and cooled, the preliminary work of creating the murrine takes place over several months preceding Linoâ€™s time in the hot shop.
Murrine, 2020. Photographs by Lino Tagliapietra Inc.
ARTWORKS Named for the floral pattern of the murrini, this Florencia vessel is simple in form, which highlights its bouquet of overlapping colors. This artwork is composed exclusively of Florencia murrini, made by layering and folding together different colors of flat ribbon cane, creating a petal-like structure within the rod of stretched glass. Once sliced into small pieces, the murrine are laid out on a heating stone and grouped tightly together. When laying out the murrine, Lino can assess how the glass pieces will stretch and shape during the blowing process. For this work, Lino utilized the translucency of the murrine, and chose to shape a vessel with a wide neck, therefore allowing more light to filter through the vessel and cast playful, colorful shadows onto the bench below. Tagliapietra’s mastery is evident in this dualism. His ability to anticipate the beauty of the form itself as well as the piece’s effect on the surface of the table is outstanding.
Florencia, 2018. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 13 1/2” H x 12 3/4” W x 12 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Endeavor, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 6 1/2” H x 46” W x 3” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Fenice, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 22 1/2” H x 12 3/4” W x 13 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Waka Waka, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 9” H x 15 1/2” W x 15 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Waka Waka is a bold take on a classic form. With a wide opening for maximum translucency, this bowl has a graceful half-sphere shape that is indicative of Lino’s masterful skill at hand-shaping hot glass. It is the color, however, that defines the Waka Waka. Flaunting flaming orange murrini rimmed in blue, this particular vessel glows hot long after it’s cooled. Many of the works from this series feature similarly vibrant colors. Commenting on the unusual title of this series, Lino reflected that “waka waka” made him feel happy, and he thought a joyful name would pair well with equally jubilant colors.
The Masai Totem, which debuted for the first time in the winter of 2020, is a new method of displaying Lino’s artworks. Featuring 9 individual glass elements, the installation was first created in Murano, Italy, now towering in the Seattle Studio offers a more complete viewing experience of each Masai piece. Taking inspiration from the African continent, Lino pays homage to the Masai Tribe of Kenya and Tanzania, and particularly to their strong visual culture and tradition of carrying decorative shields. Lino’s interpretation features elongated forms whose surfaces have been painstakingly carved by master coldworkers in Murano, Italy. The time taken to complete the cold-working process for these pieces varies greatly between the works. The smaller, more intricate engravings can take up to several days to finish, while the wider cuts can be completed in about 5 hours. In either case, the cold-working is completed by hand, with no two Masai exactly alike.
Masai Totem, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 122” H x 28” W x 28” D. Photographs by Amalgamation Pictures.
Nassau, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 17” H x 14” W x 6 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Nassau, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 15” H x 15” W x 5 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Nassau series is one of the Maestro’s most recent innovations. Lino first experimented with this new style in the early months of 2020, when he began making vessels featuring a prominent leaf-like pattern. The swirling lines of cane on the interior layer of glass are created by physically dragging the cane across the surface of the glass during the blowing process. Lino explains that this effect is meant to evoke the design of a topographic map. Captivated by the vibrancy of the colours and culture of the Caribbean, Lino Tagliapietra named this particular series after the capital of the Bahamas. Always looking to nature for inspiration, the Nassau style is reminiscent of colorful feathers, or even coral rippling underwater, and epitomizes Lino’s ability to reinterpret the natural world in glass.
Africa, 2015. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 16 1/4” H x 27 1/4” W x 13 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Dinosaur, 2005. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 58 3/4” H x 16 1/4” W x 5 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Kookaburra, 2013. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 32 1/2” H x 9 3/4” W x 10” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Fenice, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 19 3/4” H x 20” W x 14 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Chicago, 2015. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 31 1/2” H x 39 1/2” W x 1 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
First exhibited at the Chicago Art Fair in 2015, Lino looked to the former Hancock Tower and Lake Michigan as inspiration for this blue and purple fused panel. For panels like this, Lino handcrafts the piece within a flat frame, carefully selecting and laying out individual canes in the desired form before transferring the panel to a kiln where it is fired and cooled over a number of days. Chicago has an abstracted architectural design, and mixes rope-like canes and dalle de verre slabs in bright blue. The panel’s bright tones are enhanced even further in the Seattle Showroom, with the Chicago displayed prominently in the front windows.
Dinosaur, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 68” H x 33 3/4” W x 16” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Mandara, 2013. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 18 3/4â€? H x 16 1/2â€? W x 6 1/4â€? D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Mandara series are primarily closed-form vessels whose surfaces have been heavily engraved in a variety of patterns. In conceiving these works, Lino reflected on the decorative mandala drawings of the Bhuddist religion, whose intricate and geometric designs encourage meditation and focus. The effect is similar in these glass vessels, whose multi-faceted exteriors invite the viewer to observe its form more deeply. This particular series is one that Lino has revisited several times over his long career as the Maestro similarly finds meditation and reflection in the process of glassblowing.
Mandara, 2005. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 21 1/4” H x 15 1/4” W x 7 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Avventurine Fenice Installation, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 17 1/4” H x 24 1/2” W x 14” D. Photograph by Russell Johnson.
Avventurine Fenice Installation, 2019. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 17” H x 18 1/4 “ W x 6 1/2” D. Photograph by Russell Johnson.
Cayuga, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 21 1/4” H x 14 1/4” W x 6” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Ombelico, 2015. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 23 1/2” H x 23 1/2” W x 10” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Aquilone, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 26” H x 13 3/4” W x 5 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Aquilone series, developed in early 2019, features oval-shaped murrini, rather than traditionally square-shaped murrini. This change in style allows for more light to flow through the glass and creates “windows” of color throughout the artwork. The Maestro took inspiration for these murrini from his childhood on the island of Murano. Reminiscing over the colorful kites he and his companions used to fly, he imbued the glass with similarly bold hues and even named the piece after the pastime: “aquilone” means “kite” in Italian. Speaking to his recent innovations in design, the Maestro commented that even with stylistic changes, his expression through glass “is still always me.” Like other works in the Maestro’s oeuvre, the Aquilone’s shape is uncomplicated, and utilizes the simplicity of form to highlight the intricate and colorful design of the glass. This and the playful translucency of the glass, are themes in Lino’s works that have persisted throughout his long career.
Saturno, 2012. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 31 1/2” H x 25” W x 6 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
For Lino, blowing glass is emotional. He feels personally connected to each artwork he creates and insists that he will never finish learning all there is to know about the medium. This work in particular demonstrates Lino’s commitment to glass. Considered by the Maestro to be the biggest technical challenge of his career, the stately Saturno represents the pinnacle of Lino’s innovation and creativity. The Maestro began working on this idea in 1968, and explains that the technique took nearly twenty years to perfect. Using a play on the Italian process incalmo, which combines separate vessels to create bands of color, Lino instead fuses together two bubbles of glass: a feat requiring intense precision and a deep understanding of the material itself.
Piccadilly. 23” H x 19 1/4” W x 5” D. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Fenice, 2018. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 33 1/4” H x 16 1/4” W x 5” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Bombai, 2015. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 15 1/4” H x 32 1/2” W x 1” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Bombai panel from 2015 combines two different techniques of panel-making. In a process that takes a full day with a team of at least six people, Lino lays out individually blown spheres in a kiln while the vessels are still hot from the blowpipe. Lino and his team must maintain the correct temperature of the glass throughout the initial blowing process. Additionally, Lino must consider the compatibility of colors used in the glass to ensure that the individual elements will fuse together successfully. With these specifications considered, the glass spheres are fused together in the kiln and then cooled over a period of 4 or 5 days. For this panel, Lino felt inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s depictions of India, and used warmly-toned canes in reds and oranges.
Lino Tagliapietra Seattle Showroom, 2017. Photographs by Benjamin Benschneider, courtesy of Graham Baba Architects.
GRAHAM BABA ARCHITECTS Located in Belltown, a downtown Seattle neighborhood, this studio is dedicated to the display of Lino Tagliapietraâ€™s glass art. Tagliapietraâ€™s work explores the limits of glass - its form, texture, and color. In response to the drama of his work, the space itself becomes an exercise in restraint, a quiet environment in which art becomes the focal point. Previously serving as home to an auction company, the studio occupies a 1917, one-story, masonry and heavy-timber-framed warehouse building, which presents a quiet presence in its urban setting. The entry is defined by a large wood-and-steel door which incorporates a modest illuminated cut-steel sign announcing the venue. The brick interior has been painted matte gray, while floors are made with a subtly bleached white oak. Overhead, a 16-foot-wide-by-45-foot-long light monitor floats above the center of the space. Translucent clerestory glazing brings daylight into the space. The underside of the monitor features a curved soffit that softly shapes the daylight that fills the space. The client refers to the light-filled space created by the monitor as the cube. The cube serves as an illuminated volume in which to hang large collections of glass pieces or to feature tall works. Indirect light sources inset into the monitor provides dramatic lighting in the evening. Details within the space are kept to a minimum and serve as a quiet counterpoint to the art and the elemental materials inherent to the building. Support spaces, including a glassfronted office and conference room, restrooms, kitchenette and storage, round out the functions on the main floor. Custom-designed Europly cabinetry and hot-rolled steel and Europly furniture fit out the spaces. The conference table is built from fir beams reclaimed from the building construction. Elemental steel display stands of various heights and steel wall and ceiling mounts support the art.
Leann E. Crist Associate Principal Architect, LEED AP
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LINO TAGLIAPIETRA SEATTLE SHOWROOM 2006 2ND AVE SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98121 PHONE: 206.420.4867 EMAIL: INFO@LINOTAGLIAPIETRA.COM SHOWROOM SUMMER HOURS: MONDAY - THURSDAY | 11 AM - 4 PM FRIDAY | 11 AM - 6 PM SATURDAY | 11 AM - 4 PM SUNDAY | CLOSED