Fine art glass at Vail’s PISMO Gallery |

Fine art glass at Vail’s PISMO Gallery

Kim Fuller
“Fenice,” by Lino Tagliapietra, 17” by 9.25” by 4”





Glass is an ancient, magical medium — heated, liquid glass, shaped by the artist into creations of unique design and vibrant illumination. The art of working with glass dates back more than two thousand years.

The owner of Pismo Gallery, Sandy Sardella, says, “We represent artists who work in a multitude of techniques including blown glass, cast glass, lamp-worked glass, kiln-cast pieces; works limited only by the imaginations of the artists.” And Pismo represents some of the best glass artists in the world — Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Stephanie Trenchard, Dante Marioni, Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles, Rick Beck, Jon Kuhn and Christopher Ries to name a few.

Dale Chihuly is considered the best known of all. He is famous for his free-blown sculptural glass works, which have been featured in museum exhibitions and botanical garden installations, and as pieces for public spaces and for selective collectors. Vail’s sister gallery in Denver will feature Chihuly’s work this summer — stop in and see them at 2770 E. 2nd Avenue.

Lino Tagliapietra, from Murano, Italy, is recognized as the maestro of contemporary glass and has earned the reputation of the greatest living glassblower. He is known for his technical expertise with glass and the intriguing nature of his work. The complexity and flawlessness of his work is breathtaking. Lino will celebrate his 80th birthday this summer, but Sardella says he shows no sign of slowing down.

Stephanie Trenchard works in cast glass and tells stories through the painted glass inclusions she imbeds within her cast pieces. Seattle glass artists Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles add an African and Far East flavor to their work.

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Rick Beck creates whimsical cast glass spoons or forks, or “sporks,” and Jon Kuhn uses optical glass to create sculptures that reflect brilliant rainbows of light. Christopher Ries makes clear glass appear to have internal components in his pieces, when actually it is all done by meticulously designed, external sculpting.

PISMO Vail’s gallery director, Eva Pobjecka, says each artist’s style of glasswork is unique; they all work with the dual states of hot and cold, but in very different ways, leading to countless personal and distinctive creations.

“Adding various metallic oxides into molten clear glass results in nearly endless color effects,” she says, “which can completely change the character and appearance of a glass vessel.”

Pismo owner Sardella reminds visitors to the gallery that PISMO has beautiful works of glass art at all price levels — perfect for casual admirers, younger art buyers who are just getting started, as well as sophisticated collectors. There are three PISMO galleries: Vail, Denver and Aspen.

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