Cesare Toffolo is one of the best european master artisans focused in glass sculpture and lampworking. Born in Murano in 1961, he grew up amongst a family immersed in glassmaking traditions. His grandfather, Giacomo, was a master glassworker who worked for Venini. Giacomo taught Cesare’s father, Florino, numerous techniques of glassworking, and Florino also joined the Venini glassworks at the age of 17. Florino then started to experiment and work with lampworking, gaining the respect of traditional glassworkers on Murano. It was then Florino’s turn to pass his knowledge to his son, Cesare.
Cesare was 14 when he first started to train and despite his father’s passing away two years later, he continued to develop his lampwork technique, almost like a tribute to his father. Over the years, Cesare also developed new glassworking techniques such as the filigree, incalmo and the use of gold leaf. His works were exhibit in Italy and internationally and he has led courses in prestigious glasswork schools.
Cesare Toffolo forms his work from glass tubes that he heats over a blowtorch. Using the force of gravity and movement, he shapes his glass by blowing through the tube and then shaping the sides.
Cesare Toffolo grew up with his father. On the bottom floor of the house his father’s studio hid. The studio was originally equipped with a glass furnace and lampworking facilities, but his father got rid of the furnace. Cesare worked with his father after finishing school. He moved away from Murano at the age of eight. When he was 12 years old, Cesare returned and made small glass animals for fun. At the age of 14, he decided that school studies were not for him and joined his father in his studio. His father taught him to master and perfect the most basic techniques before moving on. He could make him repeat simple work for weeks on end. His father would save the best pieces and put them in a box. Months later he would make Cesare compare them to show him how imperfections could take time to see. After 40 years of work, Cesare sees the difference in the works he made just a few years ago.
Anfora is a spectacular glass sculpture that combines tradition and contemporary both in terms of technique and design. Small green lampworked figures run out from a blown glass Anfora decanter. One of the figures holds on to the decanter’s opening. The yellow glass decanter standing on top of a glass stem was finished with detailed lampworked elements.
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