Dale Chihuly: blowing your mind by blowing glass

Dale Chihuly is a glass artist whose works have extended the medium beyond imagination. His sculptures have become bigger and his various artworks more complex, despite the difficulty of working with glass. His work can be seen in galleries and installations around the globe.

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Shots from a permanent Chihuly installation in the Denver Botanical Gardens.

Dale was first immersed into glasswork while studying in college. He started working with and blowing glass in a glass factory in Venice. Since then he’s started the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, and led the movement of glass in fine art.

Dale’s work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Golden Teal Chandelier at Pismo Fine Art Glass

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Cobalt Persian Pair with Red Lip Wraps

His glass works and drawings are often abstract and intensely intricate. Sometimes pulling on sea forms and flowers, or crystals and baskets, they are vibrantly colourful and stunning. “I don’t really know where the ideas come from,” explains Chihuly. “They come from a lot of different places. One of the most important inspirations for me is the glass itself—the glassblowing process. This wondrous event of blowing human air down a blowpipe and out comes this form. Many things inspire me including architecture, nature, cars, great films, beautiful objects and books.”

Dale also draws, and his drawings have become an increasingly more prominent part of his work. “I started drawing in the 70s so I could show the glassblowers what I wanted them to make,” adds Chihuly. I continue to enjoy drawing and eventually they moved from the more subtle tones to bigger, wilder and more colorful pieces. The drawings are a major part of my work.”

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“You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than in any other way. And from the beginning, I painted with a lot of gesture, spontaneity and speed.”

Chihuly’s work can be found in many exhibitions around the world including at Pismo Fine Art Glass in Denver. It will be on display until September 30th.

Dale Chihuly

To learn more about Dale and his work, please visit his website.

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