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The Cayuga Series

Cayuga, 2017. Photograph by Russell Johnson.

In 2016, Lino Tagliapietra created a new series, Cayuga. First blown at MIT’s hotshop, Lino continued to experiment with this unusually-shaped vessel at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. The Cayuga series contrasts with Lino’s more spherical vessels in that the Maestro bends the glass into curving contours during the blowing process. Using especially bright and detailed murrini, the Cayuga are a wild combination of colour and shape that recall the natural landscape for which the vessels were named.  

Cayuga, 2017. Photograph by Russell Johnson.

Cayuga, 2017. Photograph by Russell Johnson.

Cayuga, 2017. Photograph by Russell Johnson.

The fluid shape of the vessels suit their namesake, Cayuga Lake, the longest of New York’s Finger Lakes. The lake is about an hour northeast of Corning NY, where Lino created a number of the Cayuga vessels. The contours of the glass echo the ripples of the lake, and the cool blue tones used in several of the vessels conjure images of flowing water.

Cayuga, 2017. Photograph by Russell Johnson.

For this particular work, Lino designed murrini with green, blue, and light purple tones. When stretched, the murrini blend together, creating a blurred pattern reminiscent of reeds in a lake. The Maestro designs his murrini with impeccable care. Each pattern is conceived with the final piece in mind, and the murrini’s colours and texture are integral to the piece’s overall look. The individual murrini used for this Cayuga (pictured below), can be seen most clearly in the lower half of the vessel, where the blue and green circles stretch like a net over the bottom of the piece.

Murrini for 2017 Cayuga.

Detail of Cayuga, 2017. Photograph by Russell Johnson.

Lino achieves the Cayuga’s unique shape by molding the hot glass with cork paddles during the blowing process. As seen in this video, the Maestro applies pressure to the glass while it’s still hot from the furnace. By pinching the glass between the two cork paddles, Lino flattens the spherical shape of the vessel, giving each Cayuga its own particular set of contours.

Watching the Maestro at work in this video, one can appreciate the immense amount of thought involved in designing and blowing the Cayuga series. Through the precision of the murrini and the careful molding of the vessel, Lino Tagliapietra reinterprets New York’s natural landscape through glass in these remarkable artworks, making the Cayuga series an innovative favorite from the Maestro’s long career.