|View from Chihuly Garden of "Sun" and Glasshouse|
I'm a sucker for bright colors, and so's Dale Chihuly, as most of his innovations involve strong hues in moving shapes. The only muted room of 9 honors the Northwest, where a display of vintage earth-toned Native American baskets, warped by use and time, is mimicked by similarly slumping glass cylinders and bowls in pale egg and ochre tones. But even that display, complemented by dozens of sepia Edward S. Curtis photogravures of dignified local native residents, occupies a hall where spotlights illuminate a wall of brightly-patterned blankets. It seems every Chihuly idea needs primary color pop.
|Rowboat of floats reflect; at right is end of Ikebana boat|
|Mille Fiori, with 'tower" element in foreground|
I learned about the exhibits not only from posted descriptions but from a docent whose five-minute explanations suggested her own expertise as a glass-blower. The garden, with its central medusa-ish orb, often the only "Sun" in our rainy clime, fascinated tourists who learned how long reed shapes are gravity-pulled and annealed, and how chunks of a resin-ish looking material in another garden feature were Chihuly's own invention, for outdoor projects that would otherwise burst from heat and cold. Four-foot glass spikes were like sister shoots in the garden surrounded by the sticker-edged growth of (real) blue thistles.
|My friend capturing a piece of the Persian Ceiling|
The architectural centerpiece of the museum is the Glasshouse, an arched-sided greenhouse-like hall inspired by Chihuly's love of plant conservatories. Looking up through the clear roof past suspended sets of flower-vine-like Persians, you can see the Space Needle loom, peering at its curious Lilliputian admirers.
|Space needle seen through roof of Glasshouse|
My thrill renews when I view my photos (some in this post) from yesterday, but the images only urge me to escape again to that wondrous world of shape and movement and color. If you come to Seattle, don't miss it.