Dale Chihuly was the first American studio glass artist to travel to Murano to observe Venetian glassmaking techniques. He worked at the Venini glassworks for months in 1969, learning techniques that had been carefully guarded for centuries. Ten years later, Chihuly and Benjamin Moore invited the Italian master glassblower Lino Tagliapietra to teach at Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, Washington. Because Tagliapietra formed his glass in traditional ways, Chihuly did not think a collaboration with him would be successful.
Then, on a trip to Venice in 1988, Chihuly saw a collection of Italian glass from the 1920s and 1930s. He wanted to experiment with some of sculptural forms characteristic of the glass of that period, and he contacted Tagliapietra. Together, they began what would become one of Chihuly's best-known series: the "Venetians." This pair of vessels is from the first experimental blow of "Venetians" that they made together.