Today I stumbled upon the fantastical glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly. Chihuly was born in Tacoma Washington on September 20, 1941. He holds a Master of Science in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a Master of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1968, he studied glass in Venice on a Fulbright Fellowship and in 1971 founded the Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Washington.
After an auto accident in 1976 that blinded him in one eye, and then a body surfing mishap in 1979 where he dislocated his shoulder, Chihuly could no longer hold a glass blowing pipe and hired others to help realize his creations. In a 2006 interview with the Seatle Post Intelligencer he explains – “Once I stepped back, I liked the view,” allowing the artist to see the sculpture from more angles and anticipate problems faster. Chihuly views himself as “more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor.”
The sculpture above is called Sea Blue and Green Tower. It stands 15 x 8 x 7’ and was on exhibit at the San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum in 2008. With so many of Chihuly’s works on display in museums and galleries around the world, and frequent exhibitions, I’m bound to bump into one sooner or later. I just hope it’s sooner. To learn more, visit his website at Chihuly.com.