Celebrating The Studio: Cesare Toffolo

May 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, one of the foremost teaching schools for glass in the world. To celebrate, we are featuring 20 artists in the 20 weeks leading up to the birthday. These artists have studied, taught, and created at The Studio. Each Saturday, we’ll share words and work from the artists who have formed a connection with our Studio and our staff.

A beautiful example of how Cesare combines his technical skills with his personal artistic voice.

Cesare Toffolo was born in Venice in 1961 and comes from a family of well-known master glassmakers in Murano. At the age of fourteen he started working in his father’s studio where he learned the fundamentals of lampworking. With his inventive spirit and his own avant-garde technique, Toffolo creates artistic glass of rare beauty, many of which are internationally exhibited in Museums and Galleries.

Since 1991 he has been invited to hold courses in premier international glass schools.

Toffolo is currently one of the greatest exponents of the glass art worldwide. His glass studio and gallery are located on the Murano street fondamenta dei vetrai, in an old palace of 14th where, with his sons Emanuel and Elia, a long history of glassmaking tradition goes on.

What has your involvement been with The Studio over the years? The first time I was invited to teach at The Studio was in 1997. Before that, I’d had some experience in teaching school, but this was something new and interesting. At the same time, though, it was like coming home—the glass environments, the museum, etc., so close to my world in Murano.

I came back to The Studio many times over the years, and this feeling remained the same. Two years ago, after a period of absence in Corning due to other engagements, I was at The Studio with my son Elia as my T.A. , so I had the opportunity to share this experience with him.

What do you like about working at The Studio? What I like very much about working at The Studio is the possibility to have glass school, Museum, Library, and many activities in the same place. Corning is a unique place where you can find all this.

As The Studio celebrates its 20th birthday, what would you say about its effect on the glass community? I think The Studio is part of the great evolution of the glass community in U.S. It has also contributed to development of the relationship between the U.S. and international glass communities, creating a sort of connection. The Studio has invited many international glass artists to teach and show their glass works.

This is a shot of Cesare demonstrating how he makes the amphora shape during his class at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass in 1999. Photo by Bandhu Scott Dunham.

This is a shot of Cesare demonstrating how he makes the amphora shape during his class at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass in 1999. Photo by Bandhu Scott Dunham.

Thanks, Cesare!

Learn more about classes, special programs, artist residencies, and instructors at The Studio. And see more from Cesare in Eric Goldschmidt’s Travels of the Glass Pilgrim series Glass Pilgrim: Murano 2014 Part 7.

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