So, parts 5 and 6 detailed the first 6 rooms in Chihuly’s Garden and Glass museum in Seattle, Washington, where my partner of 8 years, Pet, and I spent our 8th anniversary. I either have way too many photos to share, or I talk too much, because this wasn’t supposed to be 3 parts to detail the inside of the musuem. Oh well.
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
Part 6 – Mille Fiori & Float/Ikebana Boat rooms
The next room was the Chandelier Room, and I confess, I skipped the boats briefly to grab this admittedly crap photo of this orange chandelier. I wish the photo had turned out better, because this thins was fantastic. It almost looked like it was made of balloons, the way the orange pieces looked like they’d been blown up. I really loved the ribbing that was done too, and this was the only chandelier in the room that was done like this.
This chandelier set was the focal piece of the room. The bottom tree is probably 12 feet tall, and the chandelier up top is another 6 I’d guess. It’s enormous. It’s also beautiful If you look at the pieces at the bottom of the bottom piece, you can see the texture and finishing on the statue. Each piece is finished with what I could best describe as a lampshade finish. You’ve seen those lampshades that are pleated? That’s how the glass looks, with a knob at the end that reminds me almost of old crystal doorknobs. Each piece has a pleated finish, and a knob at the end.
There were 5 chandeliers in the room, and I thought I got photos of them all, but when I look through my camera photos, I see I’m missing one. And, one of the others, a red chandelier, is so fuzzy that I’m not going to bother. So here’s the blue glass chandelier. Chihuly seems to subscribe to “Go big or go home” because this is another huge chandelier. It’s probably 10 feet long, and easily 4 or 5 feet at the widest point. I thought I heard somewhere while I was there that some of these Chandeliers weigh as much as 1500 pounds. So this is very much NOT a chandelier you’d hang without a lot of forethought and reinforcement.
Kind of a surreal photo, but this isn’t a photograph of the chandelier directly. It’s a photograph taken in the reflective base. I watched another couple take a photo of one of the chandeliers this way, and I wanted to try it. This was the best options, because the green chandelier that was hung had child sized hand prints all over the reflective pedestal that was set beneath it.
The last room was called the Macchia Forest, and the installation is flowers, as best I can describe it. these things are HUGE, like easily as big as a clothes basket. The outsides and insides are two different colours, with streaks and spots all over them.
These came out of Chihuly’s desire to try and use every colour of glass that he had available. He uses soft glass, like I do, although from what I understand, he uses a German company’s glass, not Bullseye like I do. He was able to get these bigger and bigger, and the ones in this installation are as big as 4 feet across, and 2-3 feet deep. You could put your laundry in one, or a small child. I wouldn’t recommend it though, I think the museum would get pissed off.
This is a closeup of one of the Macchia forest pieces, and it shows how he collected small pieces of glass, and them worked them bigger and bigger, resulting in the spotted surface, and the translucent look. Even opaque glass (often called opalescent) gets somewhat translucent as it gets thinner and thinner.
The Macchia Forest was the last of the 8 indoor galleries of Chihuly’s work. From there, you could go to the cafe, or you could go out into the Glasshouse and the gardens.
The Glasshouse is amazing. There are over 1300 hand blown flowers making up an installation about 100 feet long. It’s hung via chain from the top of a tall greenhouse. It reminded me a great deal of the ceiling installation Chihuly did in Las Vegas, but this one is entirely made up of red, orange, and yellow flowers, and it’s unbelievable. The Greenhouse would be an impressive structure even without the installation, but the flowers just blow it away.
Rather than start with the garden photos in this post, I’m going to leave them for a fourth post about the garden, or part 8. I know I’ll have at least one more post about the garden, because we came back at night, and then I’ll move onto the EMP, and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, which was awesome too.