Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I'm so honored to present this week's featured artisan, Angelo Tiozzo, an Italian-born glass artist who has been creating handmade crystal glass creations for over 50 years. The artist behind Gala Glass in Toronto, Angelo hails from Murano, Italy, the world's premier center for crystal glass artistry. In 1966, Angelo traveled from Murano to Canada to exhibit his talents at the 1967 World Fair and Exposition in Montreal with a rudimentary knowledge of English and just $20 in his pocket. After the Expo, he stayed on and helped build Gala Glass, a small workshop made up of Murano artists in Canada. Many thanks to Angelo for participating in this interview!
Tell me a little bit about you and what you do.
I was born in Murano, Italy (a small island close to Venice), known worldwide for its deep tradition in glassmaking. My family was quite poor, so when I was eleven years old I started working in the famous Murano glass factories. I have been doing this for over 50 years now. My wife and my sons are now part of the business which is great!
What 3 phrases best describe your work?
· Handmade creations
· World class craftsmanship
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me, but I think that nature (and all its wonderful colors) is my biggest inspiration. I try to think of what people would like and make it into a work of art.
What drives you to create what you do?
I like to innovate and to dream up of different designs and shapes. It’s part of me, it comes from inside.
What makes your work unique?
All the creations we offer are handmade so they are, by definition unique. No two creation will be exactly the same. The fact that I am originally from Murano and have worked with the great Murano glass masters for over a decade also gives me a different perspective on glass art.
What role does your work play in your life? What role would you like it to play?
I’m a workaholic – my wife and son are the same way – so work plays a very large part of our lives. Most days it does not feel like work because we are lucky to be doing something that we love.
How do you see your work and/or your business evolving in the next five years?
Today as in the future, I seek to find creations that appeal to people. I love what I do and always try to create the highest quality possible.
Where can we find you on the web?
You can find all our handmade creations at our online boutique: www.galaglass.com
Are you an artist or craftsperson? Would you like to be featured here? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here with a link to your shop, and I'll be in touch about future opportunities.