Chihuly Garden and Glass is a new indoor and outdoor exhibit located just steps from the base of the Space Needle in Seattle Center. Everything in the exhibit gives you a glimpse inside the creative mind of Dale Chihuly. From the design to it’s contents, Garden and Glass is Chihuly’s vision of what glass can do.
One room features a remarkable glass ceiling features countless pieces of Chihuly’s work resting atop it. The room is titled “Persian Ceiling,” referring to the name Chihuly gave to the shapes found there.
A magic forest of glass and light fills another room. The intention was not to recreate a garden, but instead to represent all the elements of a garden in glass.
Parts of the exhibit emphasize the sea and his “Float Boat” and “Ikebana” carry on the theme. Chihuly grew up in Tacoma, where he was surrounded by water and all things maritime. Water became an important source of inspiration for his pieces.
Ranging from three to 30 feet in length and made up of as many as 1,000 parts, Chihuly’s chandeliers and tower are breathtaking when viewed from a distance and mind boggling when viewed close up.
The Macchia Forest was begun in 1981, and it was Chihuly’s desire to use all 300 colors available to him in the hotshop to complete the series. Each work is spattered in color, which comes from rolling the molten glass in shards of colored glass. Some of these pieces are up to 4 feet in diameter.
The magnificent glasshouse is the centerpiece of Garden and Glass. It’s a 40 foot tall glass and steel structure housing one of Chihuly’s largest sculptures. This incredible 100 foot long sculpture is cast in a myriad of reds, oranges, yellows, and amber. It’s made up of hundreds of elements that reflect light in all directions.
Outside, Chihuly’s garden of glass blends harmoniously with the natural plantings. The garden is anchored by four major sculptures and in the center the sun is an explosion of yellows and oranges radiating in all directions.
Chihuly often said “I want my work to appear as though it came from nature… as though it belonged there” Garden and Glass truly accomplishes this vision.