Luigi Camozzo - Engraver, Sculptor and Designer of Glass - Biography

Luigi Camozzo was born November 21, 1951, to a modest Murano family, at No.10, Calle dietro gli Orti (Street Behind the Gardens) on Murano.

He began engraving for passion at age 10, as an after school job with his uncle, Livio Stanchet, a skilled, highly esteemed and expedient artisan engraver of blown glass, Venetian glasses and mirrors.

Luigi attended the Abate Zanetti School of Design, directed by the eclectic professor, Anzolo Fuga. During his formative years he worked from home, then opened his first shop-workshop in 1979, on Fondamenta Cavour 3, in Murano.

In 1978 at Empoli, he had constructed the first lathe for engraving and cold working on glass made with electric revolutions control, in order to experiment better on the first diamond wheels which he was testing for the company: 'Nuova Said di Vicenza'.

At a specialists exhibition in Milano, 'Vitrum', in 1980, he met a company which imported from the United States, air-driven turbine tools for dental technicians. This turbine was adapted just to his needs, featuring a series of practical and lightweight attachments. These run on compressed air and spray water vapor on the diamond point, which is better for cooling the glass and, above all, the water noticeably refines the actual cut in glass.

He also acquired a kiln for decoration, to fire the multi-colored enamels and gold which are inserted in engraving cuts.

In those times of much traditionalism, his workshop was pure science fiction. It didn't lack the comments and critique of the most qualified "anziani" (elders). "That stuff isn't useful?!! It hasn't been useful for anything in hundreds of years."

Luigi Camozzo has unrelentingly broken all the traditional engraving patterns of the past. He started his grand adventure going against the current and, as is normal, is almost completely self-taught. He continues even today, despite all of the crisis, problems, and difficulties.

In 1980, he moved his practice to Fondamenta Sebastiano Venier 3, on Murano.

By 1982, already professionally matured and more over, saturated by the old programs of the island, he began individual and personal artistic research, which would be immediately criticised.

Researching a new way of conceiving engraving, whether for the technic or for the support of the actual engraving, because he was tired of the same old commercial glass from Murano, Bohemia, England and France.

Time matures quickly, schools are born, and they hold the most desperate courses of glass blowing formation in every angle of the world. Artists, painters, students of every age and social extraction try their hand with the old, but new for them, artistic material, glass and her myriad of technics and decoration; the era of 'New Glass' was born.

Undoubtably even for Luigi, the new tendency was too enticing; it wasn't possible to rescue himself from the stimulating challenge. And yes, in those good times of the past, there was really serious competition, and so everything counted: the idea, the ability, the efficiency, the quality, and the most important thing, it had to be complete novelty.

According to his own plan, in the office of machinist Donà on Murano in 1983, they construct an evolution of his first engraving lathe, allowing better adaptation to his ever new working needs. And the mandrels, all the wheels and various accessories are compatible with the first lathe from the office of Battisti in Empoli. Now his small, but technological workshop is truly complete.

In 1990, Luigi realized, thanks to his showroom visited by collectors and tourists from around the world, that even engraving of high-quality and new artistic concepts, was going out of style. Changing furniture, people's changing tastes, and like that the classic becomes antique, the neoclassic moves to the museum.

Eras last only a few years, and then something new occurs.

His bag of experience and technics accumulated over the years, the study about glass and engraving of the past, bring him in 1993, to write a manual on the twenty-two types of engraving technics, those known and of his own invention, along with the deep reflections regarding this extremely vast material, which is glass and its manufacture.

For Luigi in 1994, collaborations begin with the best Master glass blowers on the island, with various artists and painters. He also worked or a period of about four years, with an excellent stained-glass artist from Padua, stained glass Maestro Bressan Franco. He engraved neoclassic subjects in antique, hand-blown oval-shaped glass panes, and made both engraved and carved pieces to insert in the stained-glass windows of exquisite craftsmanship and fantasy, which adorn the most beautiful houses and palaces of Padua and Italy.

These are the years from which Luigi Camozzo derived the most intense satisfaction and emotion. No longer glass to support engraving or cold-working, but fine opera which, until now, were unknown and technically impossible to achieve by just one master. Combine the abilty of a master glass-blower with the knowledge of a designer and mastery of an artisan engraver, to give life to works of new structure and technic, which in turn, include design, furnace, engraving, and cold-working.

Since January, 1999, in his personal studio he organizes and holds courses for professional formation in engraving and cold-working on glass. Until now, there have been only 24 people who attended courses with Luigi Camozzo.

In June, 2000, he unveils the restoration of the his workshop show-room, the location old and proven by the innumerable "acque alte".

More space is left for cold-working glass, while the rest of the 27 square meters including the front window and small entrance, now assume characteristics of a miniature gallery of contemporary art. His small and beloved studio now looks more like an 'atelier' for glass, made to size for a glass engraving workshop. Times change.

From September 26, to November 8, 2009, he exhibits at the Frauenau Glass Museum, a personal exhibition, one man show, organized by Klaus Bock. For the occassion, he designs, sculpts, and engraves a fantastic, unpublished collection of single and double-cupped goblets, all conceived and executed in about six months of study and work.

Fourteen works of grand dimensions, unique but perfectly recognizable as from Murano.

In the heart of Bohemia, the Muranese Luigi received praise and compliments from noted glass artists, from the mayor of the town, and from instructors and professors in the art of glass manufacturing, at the famous formative school in Zwiesel. He also received another presentation and article placed in the "Corriere of the Bavarian Forest", written by Karin Rühl, director of the glass museum in Frauenau.

Today, 2011, in a complete global and commercial crisis, I, Luigi, am writing a small part of my long professional career. These lines with these wonderful memories allow me to go forward as always, against all adversity! Naturally, now and more than ever against the current, they know my style of living and working......All the best, my dear Luigi.


Biography: Exhibitions, Honors, Publications

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