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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chihuly Garden and Glass

A day of inspiring imagery and fantastic depth and breadth in glass!
Starting point, the Glass Forest.  I thought it was much more like neon flamingoes in the dark.
I have gotten somewhat used to taking photos with my phone, because my otherwise practically perfect husband is annoyed by my DSLR camera. Apparently I squeal "OOOO, PRETTY!!"  and stop way too often when I have that tool in my hands. But I have never been quite as sad to be shooting with my phone as I was on the day we went to Chihuly Garden and Glass.  I could have stayed all day.
In the Northwest Room you can see the influence of Native Northwest art.
Motifs, shapes and textures from baskets, weaving, and vessels are obvious and elegant.
To quote from the little brochure you get when you pay your entry fee, " I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in a way they have never experienced."  I was, Mr. Chihuly, sir. You blew me away.  Between the beautiful glass, the spectacular lighting and presentations, the massive installations, and THE GARDEN, I was frequently in tears from the beauty and joy and inspiration I was feeling.

In the Sea Life Room the central installation was gasp-worthy, churning and frothing
in a sinuous mass of color, creatures and foam.
Crabs from the Sea Life Room
My iPhone shots do none of this justice, but I put them here because I want to try to remember 
what I saw and how I felt.

Sea Turtles.  I just love the pedestal.  "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea..."
And the composition of this!!!  I wish I had a 3D image for you.
Then there was the Persian Ceiling.  The lighting design in this gallery is spectacular throughout, but for me, glass is all about transparency and translucency and shimmer and color!  This was a beautiful way to see those things! There is an aquarium that you can walk through and beneath in Minneapolis. This had the feeling of that place.

Persian Ceiling, with breathtaking backlighting.
And combined with some masterful reflections, it was water and wind and nearly alive.

I can't begin to describe the Mille Fiori installation.  
There were grapes and eggplants and grass and vines and ferns and flowers.

End view of the huge Mille Fiori Installation
Maybe even a few snakes?  Eden?

My photos of the Ikebana and Float Boat installation are especially lame.  Sigh.
I could really have used the panorama feature on my camera for this.  :(
I missed the floats entirely.
The monochrome chandeliers were almost relaxing. There is so much
energy in this huge body of work that it is a bit overstimulating!

And we had our picture taken.  

With The Best Man Ever and Most Excellent Son.  Do I look a bit over the moon?
In the Macchia Forest below, Chihuly challenged himself to make use of every color of glass available.  Often a layer of white glass made the inside of the vessel 
delightfully and dramatically different from the outside.

And then we saw the Glasshouse, which celebrates the artist's love of the conservatory.

Conservatory inside.
Conservatory from the outside.
And finally the Garden!!! 

Of course there was the perfect environment for each piece of glass... or would that be goose?  Note the BLACK grass!
No words for this!  But all the flora is Seattle is much larger than that in Minnesota.
Fern forms.
SO...   I have taken nearly a year off from competition and larger work. I have played a little, but mostly I have spent a year teaching myself to illustrate and write tutorials.  It has been a huge learning experience.  The best thing I have gotten from this time spent is a new design tool.  I now have the ability to draw and adjust my design before I pick up a needle. 

I have been plotting a new, bigger piece in my mind, and seeing Chihuly Garden and Glass has pushed my thinking about it much further forward.  I have one final tutorial in editing stage, and will release it later this summer, but then, I am going to step back to M A K I N G, because I have this thing demanding to be made, and many beautiful new ideas and approaches in my heart to finger out. I am sad to have mostly ignored my blog this year.  Hopefully that will revert to past form a bit too.  

Should you ever find yourself in Seattle, navigate to the bottom of the Space Needle, and see this gallery.  It is a true work of art, and labor of love.


  1. Thank you Marsha, for your commentary and super photos. I especially love the photo 'Conservatory from the outside' - needs to be printed and framed for your workroom! :) Jeanne

    1. Thank you Jeanne! Maybe if I put the same care and attention into using my phone that I put into my real camera I would be more pleased with the results. Or maybe I could then just annoy my wonderful mate with a different tool. :). This vacation adjusted me in lovely ways. I should do as you suggest as a reminder of those changes, before old habits set in!

  2. I'm hyperventilating going from picture to picture, it's SO beautiful!!! I love his amazing work. I'd love to see his work in person. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures from your visit.

    1. So glad you enjoyed my visit along with me! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  3. Thank you VERY MUCH for sharing these amazing pictures. I am completely in awe. You don't need to apologize for the quality of the photos, this is perfect. You really had me visiting with you in this amazing place. Oh, and I love you for weeping out of delight when seeing such beauty.

    1. Thank you sweet Cath! I reminded me of so many friends being there. I wished you could all have been wandering along with me!

  4. Thank you for sharing...may you and your family have a super summer!
    -Eva Maria

    1. Thank you Eva Maria! I thought about you while we traveled through Idaho. What a beautiful part of the country you live in!! Hoping your summer is super as well!