Our Anniversary Vacation – Part 6

In the last post, Pet and I had stumbled onto the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle, and we being entranced by the beautiful blown glass art of Dale Chuhuly. We’d been through 4 of the 8 rooms in the inside gallery, and were being prepared to have our minds blown some more.

Miss a part of our anniversary vacation?

Part 1 – King Tutankhamun Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center
Part 2 – The rest of the exhibit
Part 3 – The Butterfly House at the Pacific Science Center
Part 4 – Lunch and Chief Seattle
Part 5 – Chuhuly Garden & Glass first 4 rooms

Mille Fiore Room

The Persian Ceiling gives way to the Mille Fiori room, which can best be described as an enormous glass garden. To me, it invoked kind of a coral reef feeling. While the sea Tower was great, this room also gave me an under the sea sort of vibe. you really can’t tell from this photo, but this room is HUGE. Like, this is probably 40 feet long, and it has all kinds of beautiful colours.

One thing I absolutely love about glass is the colours. Glass comes in all kinds of colours, and can be combined to make thousands of colours, or you can layer it, spot it, dot it, stripe it, and combine it into endless possibilities. Most glass artists love to do this too, so you often get a riot of colour in glass art. Not all glass artists work in a bunch of colours, but I’ve seen a lot who do, which it part of why I like this medium so much. I love painting and drawing and all kinds of other art, but if someone’s doing dark art, you’re not going to find the bright yellows and greens you’ll find a series of glass.

Closeup of Purple Tendrils in the Mille Fiori RoomWhen we left off, Pet and I had found Chihuly Garden and Glass
This is an example of all those beautiful colours. I’m a sucker for purple, and if you ever went to my old websites, my livejournal, or even visited this blog as early as summer 2012, you’ll see purple everywhere. So it’s no wonder I love these purple tendrils. They’re tall and thin, and absolutely beautiful.

Red And Yellow Tower

You can just see the edge of this yellow and red tower in the purple tendrils photo. I don’t know if it has a name, but regardless, it’s really ,really neat. It’s  tall too, at least 10 feet, and is the centerpiece of one end of the Mille Fiori room.

Seals in the Mille Fiori Room

This showcases two of the things that make me feel like this is an underground coral reef: the pincers, and the seals. Above the blue and yellow float are those two red and amber pincers, and I don’t have a better name for them. They look kind of like forked tongues, kind of like fishtails, and a whole lot like a crustacean’s pincers coming to snap at you if you get too close. I don’t see something from the garden, I see “Under the Sea.”

Closeup of Black, Blown Glass Seals

This is a closeup of the seals I mentioned before, along with part of the pincers. Those are called seals in the Chihuly book, and on several websites. I’ll be honest, my inner 12 year old giggled when I first saw them; they look kind of like blown up condoms to me. What do you see?

Trumpet Flower in the Mille Fiori Room

There were several of these trumpet flowers in the Mille Fiori room in all different colours. We both really like this one, although I couldn’t tell you why. Maybe it’s the combination of the glittery surface and the salmon pink trumpet. Whatever the reason, it’s a neat picture.

I could probably dig out  more photos of this room, not because it’s my favorite, but because there was so much going on. the sheer size of the installation meant there was no shortage of things to look at and photograph. But, the next room is probably my second favorite of the 8 interior galleries, and it deserves photos.

Float Boat

This is the boat room, consistaing of 2 boats, the float boat, and the Ikebana boat. This is the float boat, which is filled with flats from the size of a grapefruit to as large as an exercise ball. I favored this boat over the Ikebana boat, although both are neat. There’s just something about the smooth, reflective surfaces, and the uniformity of many floats that appeals to me. And, I love the reflections they cast, like the orange one in front with the dark spots? The reflection really does make it look like a planet.

Ikebana Boat

The Ikebana boat was the one Pet liked better. This one featured all kinds of tendrils and pokey bits, as well as a few floats, and some things that looks like the seals. It was much wilder, but equally as pretty. When we went through the gallery a second time, to come back and see the garden at night, we were able to point out pieces of the Ikebana boat that showed up in other installations.

Ikebana and Float Boats, With Reflection

I’m not an excellent photographer, and I was using my phone to take photos, but I have to admit, this photo turned out pretty good. It’s taken from the edge of the next installation, and it captures the reflective floors the Chihuly gallery used for the exhibits. I really love the reflections.

One of Chihuly's Paintings

In addition to doing glass work, Chihuly painted as a way of transferring the ideas for his glass installations into a tangible form before they were made. Chihuly unfortunately has a double whammy hit him: he lost the sight in his left eye in 1976, and badly dislocated his right shoulder in 1979 bodysurfing accident. As a result, he stopped doing the bulk of his glassblowing himself, and instead set up a studio.

His paintings were his way of getting across to his artists what he wanted done. He developed a method of squirting the paint onto the canvas directly from bottles. It was his preferred method, and you could even buy Chihuly painting kits in the bookstore.

There were a bunch of his paintings on display in the gallery. This one happened to be in the Ikebana and Float boat room, on one wall with about a half dozen other ones. There were more, probably 30 of them, between the Chandeliers and the Macchia Forest as well. His paintings are probably my least favorite part of the exhibits. I just found them too abstract to correlate to the glass installations, and I couldn’t see how they transformed into the beautiful glass. Thankfully, art is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m sure many other people love them.

My original plan was to post the next 4 installations in this post, and keep the inside gallery to two posts. But, I’m already 10 pictures in, 10 fairly large pictures, and I don’t want to overload anyone’s connection. So Part 7 should hopefully be the Chandelier room and the Macchia Forest, and the nwe can move on to outside!

One thought on “Our Anniversary Vacation – Part 6

  1. The technique of forming objects from rods and tubes of glass that, when heated in a flame, become soft and can be manipulated into the desired shape. Formerly, the source of the flame was an oil or paraffin lamp used in conjunction with foot-powered bellows; today, gas-fueled torches are used.

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