Thomas Stearns and his collaboration with the Venini glassworks in the early Sixties in the new chapter of the series “Le Stanze del Vetro”.
The American artist Thomas Stearns (1936-2006) collaborated with the Venini glassworks as guest designer between 1960 and 1962. Thomas Stearns designed elegant blown-glasspieces with irregular features using various materials.
Stearns was the first American to design for Venini; he won a on Fulbright Travel Grant, left Cranbrook Academy, and showed up in Murano with new ideas, but absolutely no knowledge of the Italian language. But, from this potentially disastrous situation grew a collection of ground-breaking designs that actually won the “Best of Show” award at the Venice Bienale of 1962.
When the judges found out that the winner was not Italian, but a monolingual American, they actually rescinded the award. By then, however, it was pretty impossible to deny that Thomas Stearns had created something really special.
Stearns’ amazing designs proved too difficult to put into mass production, which made them even more special.