Glassine Visions~

Seattle’s Garden and Glass Museum showcases the magical worlds created by glass artist Dale Chihuly.
Chihuly creates huge glass wonderlands,
resembling hallucinatory under-seascapes,

full of phantasmagorical deep-sea creatures.

Mirrors create reflective visions like crystalline creatures from outer space.

There are magic mushrooms,
glowing like alien forms,

in surreal secret gardens.
Visiting here one feels much like Alice with a two-way ticket to wonderland!
Cheers to you from the inventive worlds of Dale Chihuly~

329 thoughts on “Glassine Visions~

  1. I find colored glass so fascinating. It’s not just the colors, it’s the shine, the reflection all of it. I start to sound like a broken record when I -once again- praise the great pictures.

    I suggest you post some blooper shots once, just to make lousy photographers like me feel good 🙂

    1. We could make a whole blog devoted to photographic bloopers! It is such a good idea! We could start a blog asking readers to submit their biggest blooper photos. We could have a separate category for blooper selfies. It would be hilarious and lots of fun!
      And, yes, I love the reflective quailities of glass too. It makes us question what we see, what is real and what is illusion. Is there any difference? Fascinates me…..

  2. Dale is really a great artist. I saw his work being displayed at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I was blown away. Thanks Cindy for sharing this.

  3. Such a genius….and since he was blinded in his left eye (ironically, by glass, as he smashed through the windshield in a car accident) and otherwise forced to give up the actual glassblowing in favor of design and directing projects, he says now he can really step back and see…..

  4. Chihuly had an exhibit in Toronto this summer and I took lots of pictures. I contacted his office to see if I could post the pictures on my site but they told me to contact a lawyer. I was so rattled that I deleted his pictures and abandoned the idea. I was really impressed with his work and blown away by what he charged to buy a piece of his work. Maybe I didn’t approach his people in the right manner. Nevertheless, it was one amazing exhibit.

    1. How terrible for you and how short sighted of his office. You should post. Photographers were allowed in the Garden and Glass Museum. Unless the museum has policies preventing you from taking photos which it obviously didn’t, and as long as you cite the source on your blog, you are free to post.

      1. They allowed us to take photos inside the exhibit but when I consulted them at his web site they were all caught up in the copy rights issues. Like you, I had no intention of monetizing it in anyway, just to introduce people to this great art form and amazing artist. If I have to consult with a lawyer to do this – forget it.

    1. I would love to see your photos when you do! His work allows for very creative photography because you can pick and choose what you want to emphasize, how you want to work with the light, angles, reflections etc. It makes for very different looking photos depending upon what you want, which makes it lots of fun~

  5. Chihuly is one of my art-heroes – how fabulous to see his working in your post. We first saw his displays at a marvellous and memorable exhibition in London’s Kew Gardens. I adore the way in which each piece is a wonder in its own right, and also combines with the landscape to produce something which is most definitely greater than the sum of the parts! 😀🌸❤️

    1. Oh it must have been gorgeous in Kew! The blending with the landscape is genius isn’t it! What amazed me the most you can see in the last photo. He took these black an white pieces, and placed them with monochromatic plantings so the whole scence looked black and white, but then around the edges he put blooming flowers. The photo looks doctored, black and white in the center, techni-color in the perimeter, but this is what he created and it shows itself best in photos. Amazing!

  6. I grew up getting to go to the Corning Museum of Glass and seeing the amazing glass artisans at work but I’ve never seen anything as beautiful this.

    1. I have never even heard of the Corning Museum of Glass, so now I must google it. So glad you feel about Chihuly as I do. He is quite unique especially considering many of his pieces are huge, like worlds you walk through.

      1. If you’re ever in NY State it is worth a visit. Thank you for sharing the beauty that abounds in the rest of this world outside of my corner of it. <3

    1. Tacoma is where Chihuly was born. There probably is an exhibit there but I haven’t seen it. I have been to Murano in Italy but don’t know where else Murano glass is exhibited. It is sold in many places though. So sorry, this one I don’t know.

  7. Yes, this work DOES make me think of Alice in Wonderland! Very trippy. I’ve been to Seattle once but didn’t know of this place, so thanks for this introduction as well as providing a splash of color on a grey day Cindy! I don’t know if you’re getting this storm up there in the Pacific Northwest or not but NorCal is being hammered by it. Great for the plants to get rain though!

    1. I am bascially obsessed with your storm. I read about the tornados in Washington and Oregon, and I am concerned for people, but mostly just sad. The wild animals are full on stressed at The Holler and so are the plants. So many thousands of trees have died. The hawks try desperately to pick up moisture from my hose sprayed vertically to them, but they are too distrustful to get much benefit. They never have flown so close, so I know how desperate they are. I worry about the Great Horned Owls a lot. They also are coming closer than normal, but they won’t take water from me. At this point, I worry the severe drought in SoCal, having moved into it’s 7th year, is going to turn the whole place into a desert, which is devastating for the wildlife, and the flora.
      The vultures and ravens were spinning close again in the sky today. The sight is amazing. Maybe a hundred, circling because something else has died.
      It is bad here Lynn.
      We desperately need rain.

      1. Yeah, I’ve seen some of the dried up wildlife refuges around the Sacramento area during my travels. You see big bare patches of green ground (that used to be algae floating on the ponds that used to be there). Yeah, no water is no good. I hope for rain where you’re at as well because, as your posts have shown, The Holler is just amazing when it’s teeming with life!

  8. Beautiful pics. Have you seen any of the documentaries on PBS that show how his team builds these things? Interesting stuff. My sister and bro in law have a glass studio in Denver – they tried to show me how once. I still have that misshaped shot glass…

    1. Yeah, I watched the video at the museum and I have been to Murano and The Czech Republic and have seen the glass blowing. It is something that is amazing. I see how it’s done, but it astounds me. It is an amazing art form, and it is HOT. Dangerous. You have a very cool sister and brother in law, which fits with you. I love your mishaped shot glass. Smiling….thank you!

  9. Cindy, I love normal glass work so this is pure heaven! Why oh why does it have to be so far away?? The under sea landscape one is psychedelic. Absolutely stunning – I would love to see the manufacture of such large items; astonishing the size of them.

    1. Yes the size is what most impressed me too and the perfect thin-ness of these huge pieces. It must be very hard to do this. Google Chihuly exhibits. He has exhibitions in 200 locations worldwide. Maybe, hopefully, there might be one closer to you~

      1. Thank you for that – he has work at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and we were going to the capital anyway – a small detour now! Can’t wait to see some in real life.

  10. I was there last year, Cindy. What a place! It was a rainy afternoon so I didn’t see the outdoor area in all its glory, but the indoor displays were magical! One of THE places to go in Seattle 🙂

    1. Yes! I agree with everything you say here. It was raining when we visited too, so I was concerned the garden shots wouldn’t work, but due to Chihuly’s genius with color, they happily did. They significantly brighten a cloudly Seattle day!

  11. Chihuly is amazing! I will try to take in this exhibit if I ever get back to Seattle. But I like the way Chihuly’s works pop up everywhere, when you least expect it. I’ve seen his work scattered at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Desert Bot. Garden in Phoenix, at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis, Garfield Park in Chicago, etc.

  12. Oh my gosh! Absolutely stunning artistry. What a thrill to see such beauty up close. I have never heard of creations like these. Thank you for introducing me to them, <3

  13. I think I have seen this artists work a few other places. I think I was watching a home show once where the couple was gifted a chandler by him. I remember thinking how do you keep that clean!
    But then perhaps in the house that it was in…they have someone else to do the cleaning! 🙂

  14. Hi Cindy!! Love the glass set in the organic outdoor settings– makes it more vivid! It all sort of looks like the Dr Seuss of the glass world! Fun to see you off traveling– again!!! take care. xox

      1. At one time when Tom was moving widely in the ‘glass circle’ (sounds funny doesn’t it) we always talked about disabilities and the part they played in masterful creations. It’s my understanding he can no longer blow from the long pipe required to make the large creations. Tom used 8′ and 10′ pipes for his glass. I was always in awe of his ability and would never pretend to have the ability to have even enough strength to hold the pipe long enough to do all you have to do before putting the pipe down let alone have enough air. Those large pieces require multiple dips into vats of glass and unknown numbers of heating over ‘the glory hole’ before they are spun and beaten into submission. I looked at your pictures carefully as well as Tom. It brought back many memories. It also scares me a bit as Tom has started setting aside certain pieces we have in our home he would like to pass on to others. Of course, I already have MINE marked!

        1. The process is amazing and mysterious. Might Tom be willing to do a post with photographs of some of his pieces? Any explanation of how he made them would be fascinating to readers.
          I hear you on the fear factor of people planning special gifts to people when they die, but I have a “letter of intent,” clarifying who I want special items to go too, so I can understand his thinking~

          1. Thus far, Tom has only written one post and that was in response to a post to a post I wrote about the brutality of his father.
            His blown glass along with his stained glass is world-wide. I have several pieces of glass I took out of galleries in Carmel when I learned we were moving to DC. Tom always thought photograps of his work in progress would jink his concepts but I have snuck a few here and there. Now I wish I had more.
            His photography skills far exceed mine. I hate to compare mine with his in the same sentence. However, I’ll throw out your suggestion and see what he has to say. He now has that ocassional day when he roams around the house as if looking for something to do.
            I also have that letter of ‘intent.’ I know from my fathers letter of ‘intent,’ things didn’t go the way Dad wanted. Those extra special people beyond the family will have what I want them to have before I leave this earth and most already do.

            1. Yes, I know the “joy” of families too well! I wouldn’t have a thirty year career if families didn’t treat each other horribly too much of the time. Tom’s brutal father, relatives ignoring letters of intent and operating selfishly, are just the tip of the iceberg, aren’t they, in the myriad ways family members can hurt and damage each other. It is very sad and too prevalent and keeps psychotherapists way too busy.
              If we could get Tom to just post some photos of his work on your blog, he might reconnect with his creative talents and they have such healing power. Besides we would overwhelm him with love and appreciation. I know how talented he is and I would love to be able to tell him so directly.
              Hugs & love to you too Sheri~
              <3 <3

              1. Thanks Cindy. I’ll ask him to start photographing his glass we have here at the house. Today would be a good day for him to photography jewelry [mine needs cleaning] – see I have an alternative motive!

                    1. I can well imagine. Shaking hands have to be extraordinarily frustrating for a glass artist and I understand being perfectionistic. So, sorry Sheri. I hope he feels like he still can share with us, because we won’t see the flaws that he does, we will only see the art & beauty coming from his perfect heart. <3

        1. It is NOT you! It is WP! They did this with my friend who is having a bone marrow transplant now and blogging about it. I think they do it to limit discussion and it annoys the heck out of me. How dare they limit discussions! I love them!

          1. I love discussions as well. That’s the heart of blogging as far as I’m concerned. We get Tom’s results of the endo tomorrow and are on pins and needles. Hope you are well and taking dynamite pictures. You have such a gift.

            1. I agree with you about discussions and relationships being the heart of blogging. We cast our nets upon the internet and find kindred souls. Holding and sending prayers regarding Tom’s results~ <3

  15. Wow! Some of the glasswork looks similar to work that is on display in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and in the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. I wonder if it’s the same artist? Beautiful photos!

  16. I am happy to say I have visited this museum twice, and I know I will go back. Your photos of his exemplary work are fantastic, Cindy; you do this master great justice.

  17. Bookmarking this particular article. Gian is going to write a book of original, contemporary fairy tales (his lifelong dream actually). We are going to use this as inspiration for our fantasy world Etherea.

  18. Wowza these are brilliant, what a great museum, I’ve been brought up with an appreciation of glass art my Mum loves it but these are something else. Those glass spikes would look great lit up in the garden.

    1. I am award free, but am honored by your thougthfulness Robert and so grateful to have met you here in blogdom. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and keep posting your important and valuable posts. You have a fan in me~

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