Dante Marioni burst onto the international glass scene at the age of 19 with a signature style that has been described as the purest of classical forms executed in glass by an American glassblower. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively and sometimes whimsically reinterpreted. His impossibly elongated, sinuous shapes are made with bright and saturated contrasting colors.
Marioni’s sophisticated glass objects evoke the rich tradition of classical Mediterranean pottery and bronzes, and of Marioni’s training in centuries-old Venetian glassblowing techniques with some of the greatest masters in contemporary glass.
Marioni first held a blowpipe at the age of nine. By the time he was 15, he was working after school at one of the first cooperative hotshops and showrooms, The Glass Eye, in Seattle Washington. Although he loved glassblowing, making production studio glass felt limiting.
“The prevailing aesthetic [in American studio glass in the 1970s] was loose and free-form” observed Marioni, “I personally had no interest in that.”
Around the same time he met up with Benjamin Moore, another studio glass pioneer, and watched Moore make a perfectly symmetrical, on-center glass form inspired by Venetian glass. It had a dramatic and lasting effect on Marioni, who had not previously seen this type of glassblowing.