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Dale Chihuly The Nature of Glass Part I

Updated on August 18, 2013

Suspend Reality Enjoy the Impossible

Enter and view:  Chihuly's The Nature of Glass at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens
Enter and view: Chihuly's The Nature of Glass at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens | Source

Dale Chihuly


The Nature of Glass

Desert Botanical Garden

Phoenix, AZ

2009

My first experience with the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly was at the Phoenix Art Museum in 2001. My expectations included seeing pretty glass vases, woven glass, and other typical works in glass.

That is not what I saw.

Chihuly's works thunder struck me with dazzling color and emotion. The art pieces broke, if you will excuse the pun (glass/broke), every understanding that I had of what someone could do using the medium of glass to create art. The art pieces seemed both wondrous and totally impossible.

The pieces were swirled in color, huge, suspended in the air, seemed to undulate, and seemed impossible to exist much less dazzle. They are mesmerizing.

Near the end of the exhibit there was a walk-through piece called Persian Seaform Ceiling. It is full surround experience in glass based on Persian Glass of the 12th and 13th centuries. I stayed in there until the rest of my party urged me to ‘please, let’s go!”

My next experience with a Chihuly exhibit was in London. I did not know Chihuly was exhibiting there. The Victoria & Albert is one of my favorite museums in the world. So, it was quite by accident that I spent another day with the works of Dale Chihuly. Again, his work was breathtakingly and mind expanding.

So, when I visited a friend in Phoenix during The Nature of Glass exhibit by Dale Chihuly at the Phoenix Botanical Garden, I spent a whole day of my short visit at the exhibit. I arrived when the garden opened and reluctantly left when the garden closed.

The pictures you will see in this series are meant to be more of a presentation of the genius of Dale Chihuly. Although, with the wonders of digital photography we are able to manipulate photographs in many ways, I chose to not manipulate much more than cropping the pictures and adding borders.

I have also presented this in three parts, as that is how I saw and felt the exhibit.

The first part is an introduction to the exhibit.

The second part I whimsically titled Indigo.

The third part was done as the glorious desert sun set in Phoenix. That is when the entire desert reveals its soul. Ghosts and other unworldly things emerge in the shadows and colors of the dusk. Chihuly captured those ghosts and wonders of the night in glass.

The art of Dale Chihuly and the beauty of the Phoenix Desert Gardens are the stars here.

Please enjoy!


Boat filled with hopes and dreams in the dry dry desert

If each ornament, bright shiny and colorful were a dream come true.......
If each ornament, bright shiny and colorful were a dream come true....... | Source

Pinks

The reflective cheer of nature and art.
The reflective cheer of nature and art. | Source

Suspension of Reality

The gravity of glass in art.
The gravity of glass in art. | Source

Glass Fire Licking the Desert

A dry heat in the desert of Arizona swirls all around you.
A dry heat in the desert of Arizona swirls all around you. | Source

Spikes of yucca and glass fire.

Even in the shade the glass fire is never far away
Even in the shade the glass fire is never far away | Source

Creosote Bush and Red Glass

Creosote and licks of red fire glass
Creosote and licks of red fire glass | Source

Glass Yucca Illusion

The spikes of the yucca tall and glassy seem to grow from the yucca plant.
The spikes of the yucca tall and glassy seem to grow from the yucca plant. | Source

Dale Chihuly


Here is a bit about the artist, Dale Chihuly.

Dale Chihuly, an artist in glass, was born in Tacoma Washington. He studied interior design at the University of Washington. He later studied at the University of Wisconsin. The study of glass was a new program there. He has also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD.)

Chihuly established the glass program at RISD and taught there for more than a decade.

In 1976 Chihuly was injured in a car crash that both cut his face badly and made him blind in his left eye. After recovering he continued to blow glass until he hurt his shoulder. As he was no longer able to blow glass, he stepped back and created work from different perspectives.

Please see the video to understand how he is the visionary, teacher, mentor, and soul of the pieces he creates even though he is not the glass blower.

There are works in New Mexico. One is in the Spencer Theater in Ruidoso, New Mexico. One is in the Armand Hammer World College located just outside Las Vegas, New Mexico in a building that historically was a Fred Harvey resort around the turn of the century and now is a very exclusive international school. Just recently several galleries have been advertising their Chihuly pieces for sale in New Mexico.

The reader has a high probability of being able to view a Chihuly exhibit as he is world renowned and invited into many spaces to spin his powerful work. Here is a current listing of where his works are on display from his website: http://www.chihuly.com/places-public-installations.aspx

Even though he exhibits world wide it is unlikely you will see identical pieces as he never assembles his work the same. He is known to visit the venue where his work will be assembled and create a unique exhibit in harmony with the location and feel of the exhibit area. It is clear that this is what he did at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens.

Here is a video taken in his studio by the CBS Morning Show: http://www.chihuly.com/cbs-early-show.aspx


Dale Chihuly Books

Comments

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    • NMLady profile imageAUTHOR

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks Millionaire Tips....you found an oldie but goodie!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      I've seen one of his exhibits at a conservatory here, and it is amazing how the plants and the glass seemed to belong together. So gorgeous! I didn't know anything about the artist though, and really appreciate that information here. The photos are a great reminder of the type of as that memory. Voted up.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      Amazing doesn't really describe the beauty and interest of this hub.

      I found this gem on the recommendation of marcoujor and I am so glad I did.

      I love it and vote up accross the way and now look forward to seeing and reading more.

      Thank you for sharing and have a great day.

      Eiddwen.

    • NMLady profile imageAUTHOR

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thank you MartieCoestser!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      This is truly an excellent article about the nature of glass and the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly. Bookmarked and voted up and splendid.

    • NMLady profile imageAUTHOR

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks Movie Master & The Frog Prince

      I appreciate your comments.

      Chihuly is awe inspiring!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Great Hub and the artist's work is phenomenal.

      The Frog

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a fabulous hub, my friend marcoujor recommended it!

      This glass work is incredible, I love the boat filled with hopes and dreams! what an artist!

      I look forward to Part 2 and 3.

      Voting up, best wishes MM

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Also came here through my friends' Marcoujor and Peggy W.'s recommendations and am glad I did. These glass works are stunning and blend so well with the natural setting. The artist's story is also inspiring. Voted up across the board except for funny and will be checking out Part 2 and Part 3.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      If by BUST, you mean a GOOD thing... (LOL)...!!

      Listen, NMLady, we cannot help it if we are trend setters and Peggy has never steered me wrong yet! I am going to follow you so I will hopefully know when Part 3 comes out and will definitely be checking out Part 2. Thanks for letting me know, mar.

    • NMLady profile imageAUTHOR

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thank you marcoujor....I have published a part II Indigo with some haikus (I like to write them....but am a real haiku beginner!)

      will be publishing a Part III of Chihuly works at sunset in the garden.

      Thanks again.... I was beginning to think these were a 'bust.'

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      NMLady,

      I was drawn, may I say "thnder struck"!!, by a YouTube from my pal, Peggy's hub. I was so happy when she directed me to yours, as now I am inspired and amazed even more. This artist's story is that of a survivor continuing to share his amazing beauty and gifts with all of us despite the obstacles of his journey.

      I am also bookmarking this as I want to do much more reading on him as I have time. Voted UP & UABI-- a million thanks, mar.

    • NMLady profile imageAUTHOR

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks Peggy. I will look for yours and link back.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a terrific hub about Dale Chihuly and his art. I actually have some videos in a hub showing his art that I may go ahead and publish tomorrow and will certainly add this link to it. Talk about great timing! I loved your photos and the information about this glass artist. Voted up, interesting and beautiful. Thanks!

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