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Few glass artists are as well respected and universally admired as Lino Tagliapietra.
Tagliapietra was born in Murano, Italy in 1934. By age 12, Taliapietra was both apprentice to glass maestro Archimede Seguso and working as a water carrier at the Gagliano Ferro glass factory. He trained for two years before he was allowed to actively participate in the glassmaking process, and even then was only given ‘lowly’ tasks such as the application of ribbing to larger pieces. Within nine years, at the age of 25, Tagliapietra was awarded the rank of maestro.
Tagliapietra spent the next 30 years working in association with many of Murano’s leading glass manufacturers, including La Murrina, Vetreria Galliano Ferro and Effetre International where he served as the Artistic and Technical Director from 1976-1989.
In 1968, the American glass artist Dale Chihuly visited Tagliapietra in Murano. In an unprecedented act of collaboration, Tagliapietra openly shared the closely guarded techniques of the Muranese glassmaking processes. Chihuly incorporated much of what Tagliapietra taught him into his own work, and Tagliapietra shared lessons taught to him by Chihuly with his fellow Muranese glassmakers.
During the 70s and 80s Tagliapietra taught at institutions in Italy and America, including La Scuola Internazionale del Vetro in Murano and the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. Furthering the spirit of cooperation and open exchange established by his earlier collaboration with Chihuly, Tagliapietra taught the methods of Muranese glass production to his American students while bringing the lessons taught to him by American glassmakers back to share with his fellow Italian makers.
In the late 1980s Tagliapietra turned his attention from commercial glass production to the creation of studio art glass and The Traver Gallery in Seattle hosted his first solo show in 1990. Tagliapietra’s work has since been exhibited by dozens of galleries and included in many exhibitions and retrospectives. His work is in the collections of the De Young Museum in San Francisco; The Victoria and Albert Museum in London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and many other institutions in the U.S. and around the world. Among art glass collectors, Lino Tagliapietra is among the most popular and sought after of makers. Glass artists the world over continue to draw inspiration from this prolific man who Dale Chihuly has openly declared “the greatest glassblower in the world.”