Later that day, we headed for the Space Needle and Chihuly Glass and Garden gallery. Chihuly is a famous glass blower from Washington. His museum is right under the Space Needle in the Seattle Center. I first discovered my fascination with glass blowing when I saw it in person in the US Virgin Islands. The glass blowers were making bowls and I just remember sitting there watching them take out the bright orangey red glob of molten glass. With a bit of quick spinning and some minor adjustments, they were able to gently tap off a beautiful blue and gold bowl. I could have sat there watching all night, but alas, we had a bus to catch.
Ever since then, I have always found that hand blown glass has always drawn my attention. Just studying the intricacies of it, the slight imperfection of the colors that blend, the way that the artists are able to get the glass to bend. Needless to say, I was SUPER excited to see the Chihuly museum. If you’re wondering about the title of this post – just go ahead and Google a picture of Dale Chihuly – don’t worry, I’ll wait. Or I can make it you even easier for you – click here. It’s mostly the crazy hair. But I love it. You can learn more about his life here.
Entering the museum, you are confronted with room after room of fantastic glass creations. The first display you see is a neon forest of glass. These were created by the artist climbing up on a ladder and dropping balls of molten glass from the top, letting it pool in whatever way the glass decided to go. Neon lights were added after for effect, and this display was in a darkened room so the impact was fabulous.
All of the pieces that needed stands were displayed on black plexiglass — which allowed the pieces to be reflected almost perfectly. The effect was superb. I’m going to be honest, I couldn’t decide on just one favorite room. There were two that really caught my attention. The first was the sea life room. There was a twenty foot multihued blue tower, with spirals of glass making up a wave-like structure. There were also many different beige sea creatures – sea stars, clams, and snails. Because I’ve lived around the coast my entire life, I was obviously drawn to this room. The other room that was in my top two was the Persian Ceiling room. In this room, rather than the piece being displayed on the ground, the pieces were along the ceiling. There were several different sizes of glass pieces in this room – with most of them being relatively thin and flat circles – which Chihuly calls ‘Persians.’ The ceiling was backlit, which made the walls multicolored. It was fantastic. If I ever got the chance to wander the museum alone I would have lain on the floor and just stared at the ceiling forever. Simply mystical. But I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking for me. There are also a few from the top of the Space Needle!