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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Artists Chihuly, Rubino settle claims; suit against entrepreneur unresolved

Seattle Times staff reporters

After a bitter, 10-month legal dispute that's made news across the country, glass artist Dale Chihuly and his former associate Bryan Rubino said Monday that they have settled all of their claims against each other and have agreed to keep the agreement confidential.

"Mr. Chihuly and Mr. Rubino are glad to have this matter behind them and wish each other well in their future projects and independent creative development," according to a joint news release issued by representatives of the two men.

Chihuly sued Rubino and the entrepreneur and glassblower Robert Kaindl in U.S. District Court in October, accusing them of scheming to rip off his designs. Both men filed countersuits that questioned the integrity of Chihuly's operations and his art.

Monday's agreement deals only with Rubino, a Shelton glassblower who worked for and with Chihuly for more than 16 years.

Chihuly's suit against Kaindl — as well as Kaindl's countersuit claiming that Chihuly doesn't design, make or even sign a substantial number of works attributed to him — remained unresolved.

Kaindl, a Redmond businessman, has maintained that he does not expect to settle with Chihuly and would use the suit to "expose" Chihuly's business practices. "My stance is that I am not settling," Kaindl said Monday.

Kaindl hired Rubino and his team to blow glass for Kaindl's business, Art Glass Productions, in November 2004. Chihuly filed suit within months of receiving reports that work "identical" to his was being sold in area galleries.

Chihuly's publicist Janet Makela said Monday the studio had no comment on the settlement agreement.

On Aug. 3, Chihuly erroneously claimed the suit was settled, but Makela later blamed his lawyers for misinformation.

Sheila Farr: 206-464-2270 or sfarr@seattletimes.com

Susan Kelleher: 206-464-2508 or skelleher@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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