During my last years at Tyler I worked closely with sculptor Italo Scanga who at that time was incorporating glass into his work. Italo invited me to come to Seattle to be his student at the Pilchuck Glass School the following summer. It was at Pilchuck that I first met and worked with Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisback and Venetian master glassblower Checco Ongaro. Having the opportunity to work directly with professionals of that caliber served to broadened my vision of the possibilities glass offered as a medium. Indeed that summer at PiIchuck confirmed my desire to work with hot glass, although having just graduated from art school I was faced with the financial reality of being unable to afford a glass studio of my own.
At that time, in 1978, studios were very scarce and technically I was still inexperienced, however I was determined to continue blowing glass and within two months of returning from Pilchuck obtained a position at Wheaton Village Glassworks in Millville, New Jersey. As part of my contract at Wheaton Village I was allowed unlimited access to the facilities at nights to produce my own artwork. This experience allowed me to blow glass eight hours a day in a well equipped studio and at the same time provided me the freedom of expression needed to perfect my technique and develop a style. Working on my own after hours my ideas crystallized and I concentrated exclusively on blowing colorless forms which I could later paint. By that time I had become proficient at blowing a variety of forms and wanted to step away from the furnace to decorate my pieces in a more painterly manner than conventional colored hot glass applications allowed. The notion of painting on glass seemed a natural progression for my work given my background in ceramics and the use of glazes. One of my first painted pieces was featured in the Corning New Glass Review I in 1979.
During the summer of 1979 I was given a scholarship to the Penland School in North Carolina to study with Fritz Dreisbach whose work I have always admired. In 1980 my stay at Wheaton Village ended and I returned to Penland where I assisted Fritz on the beginning of his Mongo series. Not having a glass shop to return to Fritz advised me on building my own studio which I began the following year in Baltimore. I am still indebted to him for his encouragement during that period.<
It was at the New Glass Exhibition at the Corning Museum that I first saw the work of Erwin Eisch and Ulrica Hydman-Vallien. Those pieces were very inspiring to me not only because of their extraordinary sophistication, but because they were the first painted glass pieces executed by contemporary artists that I had seen aside from my own. Eager to meet Ulrica I went back to Pilchuck as a teaching assistant in 1981 and 1984 where I worked with her and her husband Bertil, both Swedish artists and glass designers for Kosta-Boda Glass. The Valliens have been very supportive of my work ever since.
In 1981 I built my own glass studio and have run it steadily since then. Although I had exhibited my work widely throughout the U.S. it was not until 1987 that I was financially able to give up my full time employment at a theatrical costume design company in Baltimore and support myself entirely with my artwork.
During the first ten years of my career, while producing painted pieces, I also experimented with a wide range of hot glass techniques. Among the projects completed during that period are the cast and painted glass tile floor entitled American Transparency which was exhibited in the Sculptural Glass show at the Tucson Museum of Art in 1983, and blown pieces incorporating copper foil, one of which was part of the American Glass show at the Huntington Museum in 1985. Having discovered early in my career what still intrigues me about glass, I always return to painting on translucent glass forms despite having explored a variety of techniques. What fascinates me about glass is its unique relationship to light which gives it a free-floating quality. I hope to emphasize the inherent characteristics of glass by treating the blown forms as empty canvasses, layering their surfaces with overlapping color and texture to create three dimensional translucent paintings. I want my pieces to have a handled quality and to be a record of my involvement with them. Technical virtuosity and flawless execution are not my concern, but rather the marriage of form and color with spontaneous and expressive energy.
Corradetti Glassblowing Studio
2010 Clipper Park Rd., Suite 119 Baltimore, Maryland 21211
410 243 2010
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