In the Studio with Glassblower Joe Cariati

Joe Cariati is in his element. As hip-hop music blasts throughout his small studio in El Segundo, he and his team of three gracefully weave around their workstations, deftly maneuvering glowing wands of molten glass in and out of blazing hot furnaces. This is where the magic happens.

Cariati carefully shapes a piece with a wet newspaper pad as it cools.

Trained in the Venetian style of glassblowing, Cariati is happiest when taking part in the physical process, having full mastery over the glass and manipulating the “bubble” to do things that it doesn’t necessarily want to do. Although his exquisitely crafted bottles and decanters have appeared everywhere from Sex and the City II to Jonathan Adler stores, he continues to maintain a hands-on approach to his work, making pieces that are accessible yet unique. “I don’t stock any items. That means you’re ordering something that hasn’t yet been created,” Cariati says.

Cariati torches the bottom of the vessel to keep it hot during the finishing process.

In an industry where trends influence designers, Cariati stays true to his vision. “What I’m trying to do with the Angelic bottles is create an icon,” he says. “People are like, ‘Well, when are you going to make something new?’ It’s like asking Nike, ‘When are you going  to make a new swoosh?’”

A few of the bottles from Cariati’s Angelic collection, each handmade and signed by the artist.

If his rapidly growing clientele is any indication, Cariati’s aesthetic—“pure, clean, simple”—is one that will never go out of style.

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