James Mongrain, a self-proclaimed beneficiary of the skills imparted by the Italian masters, is an artist who has taken every opportunity to excogitate the secrests of Italian glassblowing. He has worked side by side with the Italian masters, assimilating their subtle movements, their use of tools, and the idiosyncratic stratagems that so characteristically elevate Italian glass.
In his own studio, Mongrain has spent literally thousands of hours making goblets and other vessels, practicing traditional Italian methods, until he attained spectacular proficiency. Yet Mongrain has not been content to simply imitate and reiterate the splendor of traditional Venetian glass. He has used the vocabulary of Venetian glass heritage as the springboard to inspire his own reinterpretations. While appropriating the motifs so closely associated with Venetian glass - traditional forms, fantastic animals, and the bravura of elaborate rigaree, or raised bands - Mongrain has established himself as a glass artist working in a singular style.
"Glass blowing is about having a hot hand, but don't overcomplicate it. Simple elegance is important."
- James Mongrain