An interview of Paul Marioni conducted 2006 September 18-19, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, Seattle, Washington. Marioni speaks of his childhood in Ohio; excelling in math as a young student; being labeled a troublemaker in high school; his interest and skill in fixing cars and motorcycles; attending the University of Dayton, the University of Cincinnati, and San Francisco State University; receiving bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy; an interest in filmmaking; the joys and struggles of raising two children by himself; his unorthodox parenting philosophy; learning glass techniques from Judy Raffeal North; teaching experiences at College of Marin, California College of Arts and Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and Penland School of Crafts, among others; the importance of fostering idea formation and creativity in educational institutions; his experiences as Artist-in-Residence at A.C. Fischer Glashutte and Spectrum Glass Co.; the development of his process for producing cast glass; the great number of public architectural commissions that resulted from the ability to work with cast glass; the more than 85 commissions he has completed alone and in collaboration with Ann Troutner; the difference between his gallery work and commission work; the pleasure he gets from working in the studio; travels throughout Europe, South America, Japan, Thailand, Mexico; his use of ambient light; strong responses received from his political artwork; his dislike of art critics; the vital role Glass Art Society played in supporting the studio glass art movement; the emphasis of human nature in his art; and plans for the future. Marioni also recalls Robert Nelson, Gunvar Nelson, John Bolles, Cecile McCann, Marvin Lipofsky, Dale Chihuly, Tom Bosworth, Fritz Dreisbach, Richard Marquis, Howard Ben Tré, Bertil Vallien, Jaroslava Brychtová, Stanislav Libenský, Randy Milhoan, Dante Marioni, Pino Signoretto, Sandy Blaine, Allan and Lenore Sindler, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Marioni (1941- ) is a glass artist from Seattle, Washington. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer, from San Francisco, California.
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hrs., 18 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.