05 / 17

A Day in the Hot Shop with Lino

Lino making an Angel Tear piece

A Day in the Hot Shop with Lino

I arrived at the Martin Blank hot shop in downtown Seattle on May 16th at 8:30 a.m. I spoke with members of Lino’s team the day before and was told that things most likely wouldn’t get going until around that time. Unsurprisingly, when I arrived, Lino was already halfway finished with his first piece.

In a recent interview with the Yellow Gloves (Toronto based magazine) Lino said, “Before I start a new project, I do not even sleep at night.” His excitement for the material and need to work with his hands is evident the moment you step through the door.

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Lino’s Team

If you have ever had the pleasure to watch the Maestro in action, you know that him and his team work incredibly fast. During the interview, Lino discussed working with his collaborators,

“I’ve worked with some people for over 20 years. I would not be who I am if I had not gained great collaborators. I know what being a good assistant means. I had and still have very good ones.” 

The team effortlessly moves around each other and communicates with minimal speaking; it’s truly an incredible thing to watch. With little said, molten glass is worked and shaped into large-scale pieces with mesmerizing colors.

When in the hot shop, the Maestro does not waste time. As a result, immediately upon finishing a piece he vanishes to a table where his murrini are sprawling out in a colorful array of extraordinary patterns. Thoughtfully, he places each piece by hand to create his vision. Once the design is finished, it’s time to bring to life the creations the Maestro has dreamt about.


Lino’s design for an Angel Tear piece with multi-colored murrini

Lino’s Love for Glass

We know Lino’s love for glass has carried on throughout his life and is clearly evident in his pieces. Arguably, I would say that his love for the material is equally evident in how he works with it. His respect for the glass and commitment to the process is undoubtedly clear when watching him work. The whole team is emerged in the process; on occasion he speaks with the team and from time to time you’ll hear Lino whistling.

It’s nearly impossible to not lose track of time while watching the Maestro work. Minutes turn into hours as he works the glass as if he were playing an ode to the material itself. The day goes on and the energy never dies. It’s an inspiring thing; to watch someone who has mastered their skill but still holds the energy and enthusiasm of a young child.

Lino and the team will be back in the hot shop Thursday, May 17th. We’ll be live-streaming and posting pictures throughout the day so stay tuned for more. I dare you to try to keep pace with the Maestro.