Saturday, October 12, 2013

September 20th, Part Two: Chihuly Garden and Glass

It didn't take very long to get to Seattle and we were able to find parking pretty quick, so before we knew it we were getting on the monorail to head out to the Space Needle. (And for the entire rest of the day, the Monorail Song from The Simpsons was stuck in my head.)

Hello, Space Needle!   :)

Ooo...needley. We wound up grabbing lunch at a little cafe right around the corner and sat outside with our sandwiches and coffee (of course we had coffee). The weather was gorgeous! You have to buy tickets to go up in the Space Needle, but it turns out they offer a package deal tied into another thing we wanted to check out. I had completely forgotten about it, but when they did a season of Top Chef in Seattle, one of their challenges took place at a really cool venue. Turns out, it's an actual gallery...and thanks to Mark's good memory, we found ourselves at Chihuly Garden and Glass. (As a little background, Dale Chihuly is a glass sculptor from Tacoma. Chihuly Garden and Glass is actually pretty new; it just opened in May 2012.) 

Glass Forest. He made this by standing on a stepladder and simultaneously blowing and pouring molten glass onto the floor. The stems on these were easily as tall as me.

Sealife Room. This is part of a huge tower that sits in the middle of the room; the shells and starfish wrapped up in the tower are life size; the detail was awesome.

Persian Ceiling. The entire piece was above your head! There was a clear glass plate across the entire ceiling, and it was covered in various glass pieces and lit from behind.

A close up of a section of Persian Ceiling.

The most impressive room (I thought) was Mille Fiori. It's a glass garden of sorts and has an insane variety of pieces and colors and textures. That tower had to be at least 10 feet tall.

I liked how the two orange-ish things above the ball look like they have mouths.  :)

The green and black stalks may have been my was really neat to see the patterns in the swirls.

The entire piece sat on a black reflective surface; it looked like a mirror.

So many colors!

Ikebana and Float Boat. To give you an idea of the scale, those are full-sized rowboats. Chihuly initially got the idea while working on another project that involved tossing glass forms into a river; as some teenagers gathered up the pieces in a small boat he got the idea for a piece like this. (Chihuly has done a lot of large outdoor displays all around the world; I'm actually reading a book on them right now.)

There was also a room featuring several of his Chandeliers. They were huge; I think this one was at least 8 or 9 feet tall. This blue one was my favorite.   :)

Macchia Forest was a room full of multi-colored bowl-shaped pieces. Chihuly wanted to use all 300 colors that were available in the shop he was using at the time, so they all have multicolored spots. Some of the pieces are almost 4 feet in diameter.

We eventually came to the Glasshouse. The sculpture along the ceiling stretches the full length of the room (about 100 feet). I wish I had a huge glass room like this in my house!

We eventually made our way outside and into the Garden. Pieces of his work are set in a garden with real plants. (You can see the bottom of the Space Needle in the back.) The yellow sculpture is called the Sun; it was one of my favorite pieces outside.

We walked along the paths...there were little sculptures hidden everywhere.

Closeup of Sun. Very cool.   :)

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