Emilio Santini was born in Mirano, Italy (just outside Venice where
his mother is from) into a noble Venetian family with over five
hundred years of glass blowing tradition. His father, a glass blower
and a self-taught lamp-worker, was his first teacher. At the age of
eleven he was sent to work in a glass factory (Cenedese) during the
three-month summer break from school. His uncle, Giacinto Cadamuro,
was his teacher during that year. During each of the next five years,
he went back to work for three months in the same glass factory but
with different masters, including “Petà” and “Mamaracio”. When Emilio
was seventeen, his father started teaching him lamp-working, an
activity that he still performs full-time. He studied Italian
Literature and Art History at the University of Venice.
In 1988, he moved with his wife to Williamsburg, Virginia where he
established a small lamp-working studio. Some years ago, he resumed
blowing glass at the furnace and now draws on a broad variety of
glass-working techniques for his work. He has taught extensively in
private schools like Pilchuck, Corning, Penland, Pittsburgh Glass
Center, etc., and he was part of the Virginia Commonwealth University faculty in the art department for nine years as a glass instructor.
He now lives in Blacksburg, VA.
Emilio’s work is held in numerous collections of private individuals
and museums like the Corning Museum of Glass, The Ca' Pesaro Museum
of Modern and Contemporary Art in Venice Italy, the Sheffield Museum in
England, the Chrysler Museum, and many others.
He now spends some of his time with his first love: writing poetry,
short stories, and a novel, all of which have glass as part of the