Egidio Costantini was born in Brindisi on April 22, 1912. When his father died in 1918, he moved to Venice with his family and studied at a technical college, where he obtained a radiotelegraph operator’s licence. He initially worked at the Circolo Motonautico of Venice, but upon the onset of World War II, he found a job as a clerk at the Banca Commerciale and studied for a degree in botany in his free time at the University of Parma. In 1945 he moved to Carnia and started working with the natural wood sources in the surrounding area. It was here that the artist first developed an interest in working with glass.
Before embarking on his own glassmaking career, Costantini began as an agent for several Murano glass factories in Venice, which allowed him to work with master glassblowers and learn the intricacies of the trade. He wanted to elevate the craft of glassblowing to the same level as sculpture or painting, so he mediated collaborations between glassblowers, artists, and himself to create glass sculptures based on drawings made by contemporary artists. He subsequently began to work with a group of Venetian artists and from this stemmed the founding in 1950 of the Centro Studio Pittori nell’Arte del Vetro di Murano. Four years later, he went to Paris to promote his project to the most famous artists of the time, and this led to collaborations with Alexander Calder, Gino Severini, Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, and others.