Emilio Santini was born in Mirano, Italy, into a noble family with over five hundred years of glass blowing tradition. His father, a glass blower and a self-taught lampworker, 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 lampworking, an activity that he still performs full-time with great skill and patience.
In 1988, he moved with his wife to Williamsburg, Virginia. He immediately established a small lampworking studio, which he later expanded to include facilities for glass blowing and casting as well. Some years ago, he resumed blowing glass at the furnace and now draws on a broad variety of glass-working techniques for his work. His extensive teaching in this country’s major glass schools (Pilchuck, Penland, and Corning) has given him the possibility to expand his view of the world of art glass, and studying with Bill Gudenrath in Corning, NY, allowed him to progress even further with his skill at the bench.
Over the past few years, Emilio has concentrated primarily on sculpture and creating pieces which incorporate cast, blown and lampworked elements, along with metal and stone. These represent a major shift in his work, though many of these pieces had their genesis as sketches or models made throughout his creative life. Most recently, Emilio has turned his focus to the written word, both prose and poetry, to which he dedicates considerable creative energy.
Emilio’s work is held in numerous collections of private individuals and of museums around the world.