"Glass can never be ‘mastered’ in the sense you reach a point you have complete control over it, it is material that begs to be worked with, not worked at. Just the act of creating is a large part of what gives my life meaning and keeps me engaged with the world."
Kenny Pieper: The Artist

Kenny Pieper has spent more than 45 years experimenting with and perfecting his glassblowing techniques. He is deeply moved by the entire process of the medium and relishes every opportunity to work with fire and glass in its liquid state. The jewel-like qualities and luminosity of glass influence and intrigue him.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in the mountains of North Carolina, Pieper began his craft career in high school when he studied at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. After high school, Pieper studied at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, and then completed his BFA at California College of Art and Design. After 16 years working as a glassblower in the San Francisco area, his career came full circle when he left California and moved back to North Carolina. While constructing a studio there, He worked at Penland School and managed the glassblowing and lampworking studios. It was during this fruitful time that he developed his expertise in the tradition of Italian glass.

Pieper uses the same techniques as master glassblowers used centuries ago; most notably he excels in the classical Italian glass making technique of reticello. Reticello is the Italian name for a specific pattern in the technique of cane working, where thin glass rods are carefully worked into molten glass to create beautifully intricate and complex patterns. He also experiments with a variety of chemicals, melting and mixing his own colors, in beautiful shades of scarlet, gold, aquamarine and more.

“Kenny Pieper is truly a master of reticello – an extremely difficult glassblowing technique that incorporates many thin rods to create complex and intricate patterns. He incorporates this traditional technique into modern forms, and the results are spectacular.”

Eveline Ko, artist, founder of AEfolio and curator of the Masterworks Collection
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