Monday, August 22, 2016

Dale Chihuly, Glassmaster

Dear Gentle Readers,
When we were in Las Vegas in 2007, we were lucky enough to view the unusual and breathtaking glass sculpture of one very talented Dale Chihuly at the Bellagio.  Beautiful as a description just doesn't come close.  Once you have seen one of his creations, you are forever changed as to what you think is beautiful and what you believe is possible.  You can recognize one of his pieces wherever you seen it.  I believe Dale Chihuly invented the American Art category of "glass sculpture."

 My mother had a collection of depression glass, so we were aware at a young age the beauty and fragility of colored glass. But Dale Chihuly's work is jaw-dropping.  His pieces are no little footed candy dishes!

Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington on September 20, 1941. Reports indicate Dale was not a stellar student. and after graduating Woodrow Wilson High School in 1959, he bounced around a few different colleges, but nothing ignited his fire, so he quit college and went to Florence to study art.
(Lucky for us!!!)

 He began glassblowing in 1965 and found his true calling, becoming an internationally recognized glass sculptor.  He worked at the Murano Glass Factory near Venice.  We toured the facility, as that was something I always wanted to do. (Tour, not blow)

Dale's largest permanent collection can be viewed at the Oklahoma city Museum of Art, and visiting it is also on my bucket list.

His work and reputation are more prominent in the West.  I was thrilled to see some of his work in Colorado the last time we were there, similar to these beautiful flower pods to the right, with vibrant opalescent two and three-toned contrasting colors.

During a visit to England in 1976, Dale was in a very serious auto accident, leaving him with no sight in his left eye and the loss of depth perception.  (That's why he wears an eye patch.)  He once said this disability caused him to move on to working on projects of a much larger scale.  

Many of Dale's prominent pieces were chandeliers.  His initial pieces, around 1992, were modest and lovely, but soon they blossomed into beautiful flowers, and breasts, and snakes, and  all kinds of wild glass creations one wouldn't expect on a chandelier, and it was fabulous.

 In the 1970s, Dale did a series of glass paintings based on Native American designs, aptly titles his Navajo Blanket series.

The documentary, Chihuly Over Venice, was a truly spectacular event, coordinating glass and color and water and timing.  

None of these photos are mine.  I claim nothing here.  Nothing is mine, except the memories.  I looked him up on Wikipedia and Facebook.  I simply wanted to share my limited knowledge of this fabulous glass artist/glass master so my readers would associate the name, Dale Chihuly with these magnificent glass creations.

Links to learn more about him:
He is on Facebook and Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment