The legacy of Elio Quarisa (1936 – 2010), the late glass maestro and
beloved glass educator, is being celebrated through an exciting tool-giveaway in association with the Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass. A longtime friend of Quarisa in Venice, Roberto Dona, who is an artist and maker of tools, was inspired to keep alive the legacy of the late glass master as a figure who inspired and taught a new generation of glass artists through his generous spirit and willingness to selflessly share a lifetime of knowledge of traditional techniques. To that end, Dona is donating a set of 14 hand-made glassworking tools that will be given to a top up-and-coming artist through a contest administered by the Corning Studio. Quarisa’s career, which spanned nearly 65 years since his start in Murano at only 9 years old, and his influence in Dona’s work both professionally and personally, served as the tool-maker’s inspiration for creating the tools. For the contest, candidates are asked to submit a portfolio consisting of several images of their own work as well as an explanation of Quarisa’s influence in their careers.
Submissions will be judged by a small group of individuals who were close with Quarisa and are working to keep his legacy thriving, according to the Corning Studio’s director Amy Schwartz. Ultimately, the artist whose portfolio indicates the most potential in continuing Quarisa’s glassblowing traditions will walk away with the set of handcrafted tools.In a recent email exchange with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, Dona made it clear that his intent was not to “interpret and evaluate the work of Elio,” but rather to “say to the Glass World that he was a good friend in love with glass” and that “this is the right way to remember him.”
InQuarisa’s legacy has been made prevalent through a multitude of other forms, including a Corning Studio scholarship fund in his name which was established after his death in December 2010. The fund was created as a testament to Quarisa’s persistence in carrying out the traditions of glass making, particularly through his dedication to teach, even post-retirement, at many different glassblowing schools and programs throughout the United States. “The glassblowing community is a special and nurturing place,” says the Corning Studio’s Schwartz. “It is a community that wants to help continue the tradition to younger generations.” In this respect, the intent of the fund, similarly to that of the current giveaway, is to support the continuation of Quarisa’s standard of excellence and his passion for his chosen field, and to encourage aspiring artist’s to make equally remarkable strides in the future.
To enter the contest, candidates are asked to submit a portfolio consisting of several images of their own work as well as an explanation of Quarisa’s influence in their careers. To learn more and to see some inital entries, visit https://www.cmog.org/win-glassworking-tools-memory-elio-quarisa.