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#1831 - Thursday, June 17, 2004 - Editor: Jerry  

 


 

This issue is devoted to the glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly

See much more at http://www.chihuly.com/

   


     

  Ikebana flower    


Seaforms  

The Seaforms seemed to come about by accident, as much of my work does—by chance. We were experimenting with some ribbed molds when I was doing the Basket series. By blowing the pieces into ribbed molds, it gave them more strength. It's sort of like corrugated cardboard—or actually, like sea shells themselves, which are very often ribbed. Then the Baskets started looking like sea forms, so I changed the name of the series to Seaforms, which suited me just fine in that I love to walk along the beach and go to the ocean. And glass itself, of course, is so much like water. If you let it go on its own, it almost ends up looking like something that came from the sea.
  —Chihuly
   

  The essence of the Soft Cylinders is really at the point of the 'pick-up'. First, a very detailed glass drawing -- we call it a shard -- is prepared before the blowing starts. Then the glass shard is carefully placed on a hotplate with hundreds of glass threads all around the drawing. About halfway into the blowing process, right after the last gather of glass has been dipped from the furnace, the gaffer comes down on it with the glass and it fuses to the surface. This is the most exciting moment of making the Soft Cylinder. The shard may crack at this point and the glass threads go flying everywhere.--- Chihuly


   

 
What makes the chandeliers work for me is the massing of color. If you take up to thousands of blown pieces of one color, put them together, and then shoot light through them, now that's going to be something to look at. Now you hang it in space and it becomes mysterious, defying gravity or seemingly out of place. Something you have never seen before.
  Chihuly

         

 
  I don't know if something can be too colorful. Color is one of the great properties of glass and is more intense in glass than any other material. Imagine entering Chartres Cathedral and looking up at the Rose Window: you can see a one-inch square of ruby red glass from 300 feet away.
  Chihuly

   

DALE CHIHULY
VENETIAN WINDOW (DETAIL), 2001
GRID IS 7 X 5 SQUARES, EACH 2' SQUARE
THE BOATHOUSE, SEATTLE, WA

Ice + Neon

  
 Talk about a form of light—neon is light itself.
But, of course . . . neon couldn’t exist without glass.
 —Chihuly
 

DALE CHIHULY
20,000 POUNDS OF ICE AND NEON PREPARATION, 1992
ICE HOUSE

     

DALE CHIHULY
NEON GLASS, PREMIERED OCTOBER 12, 1995
IN COLLABORATION WITH JAMES CANFIELD AND PHILIP GLASS
OREGON BALLET THEATER
PORTLAND, OREGON

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