The Seaforms seemed to come
about by accident, as much of my work doesby 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 cardboardor
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.
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
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
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.
VENETIAN WINDOW (DETAIL), 2001
GRID IS 7 X 5 SQUARES, EACH 2' SQUARE
THE BOATHOUSE, SEATTLE, WA
Talk about a form of lightneon is light
But, of course . . . neon couldnt exist without
20,000 POUNDS OF ICE AND NEON PREPARATION, 1992
NEON GLASS, PREMIERED OCTOBER 12, 1995
IN COLLABORATION WITH JAMES CANFIELD AND PHILIP GLASS
OREGON BALLET THEATER