If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Chihuly Garden and Glass

The last morning we were in Seattle as part of a 19-day excursion with our youngest granddaughter, we took in the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition. It’s part of the Seattle Center, whose best-known attraction is the Space Needle. A series of five short films are part of the exhibit. They feature Dale Chihuly talking about his approach to some of his exhibitions. Pictures in this blog come from the Seattle exhibit.

Having visited some of his other exhibits, I would have guessed that he was a deep planner, with each piece’s placement well-considered before the glass-blowing began, and then placed in its pre-determined spot. Turns out he’s more of a seat-of-the-pants kind of guy.

Oh sure, he sketches out big pieces, but he’s not a slave to the design. For example, while developing one exhibit, he took great delight in tossing his glass creations into a river to see how they would float together, what patterns they would make, how they would flow, and so on. Kids collected them and stuck them in a large rowboat. Chihuly was so struck by the arrangement the kids made, he included the same concept in several subsequent exhibits, including the one in Seattle.

When Chihuly creates his very large chandeliers, he and his team produce the component parts, but when it comes to constructing each chandelier, serendipity plays a huge part. One film shows the team putting together a new chandelier for an installation. Chihuly stood below and periodically held up a piece and said, “Make sure to include this somewhere. I like this piece.” Later, a small hole in the pattern developed that he commented on several times, making sure they knew it was there and kept it. “After all, nature does the same thing.”

It was clear he enjoyed himself throughout the whole process. When it comes to his art, he has kept the freedom of a child: willing to experiment, follow a wild idea, challenge himself and his partners.

Exiting the exhibit, I was looking forward to the next chance I had to write. Thanks, Dale.


Art Taylor said...

I love this post, Jim -- not only because I admire Chihuly's work but because of these lessons/inspirations about creativity and particularly that line about the freedom of a child. I've actually watched our son Dash with his Lego pieces and thought similar things—comparing the looseness of his approach with the ardor of my own creative process (sometimes) and thought, "Shouldn't this be more fun?" Indeed it should--and as Chihuly shows, it can be. Inspiring post, and hope you were inspired going back into your own writing too!

E. B. Davis said...

Absolutely beautiful. I'm in awe.

Margaret Turkevich said...

beautiful! I remember a wonderful Chihuly exhibit at the Renwick Gallery in DC. Great photos, Jim, especially the bowl of glass balls.

Warren Bull said...

Other art forms can be instructive about writing.

Kait said...

Gorgeous photos, and great insight into Chihuly's process. I've seen his work at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, although never been fortunate enough to be in town for a show. I love his color and sense of playfulness. I'm glad to know the play is part of the artist. Somehow the knowledge brings a new dimension to his work.

Julie Tollefson said...

Beautiful! And I love the message about creativity and art.

Shari Randall said...

I saw this exhibit - wow! My favorite was the boat and I love the story behind it. Art does wash away the cobwebs doesn't it?

Jim Jackson said...

Art -- We're still on vacation with our youngest granddaughter, so writing won't start for another week -- but I'm anxious to get at it.

I'm glad everyone liked the pictures. It was hard to choose which ones to use.

~ Jim

Judy Alter said...

Okay, now I want to revisit Seattle. Missed this on my one brief trip there, and you make it look fascinating.

Jim Jackson said...

Judy - It's wasn't on our original list, but when we realized it was there, we made sure to go.

~ Jim

cj petterson said...

cj Sez: A friend of mine actually has one of the Chihuly chandeliers in his home in New Mexico ...almost floor to ceiling, and a red-orange if I remember correctly. Chihuly's art is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Marilyn Levinson said...

I enjoyed this post. I love Chihuly's work. Plan to visit his present exhibit at the NY Botanical Garden in September.

Jim Jackson said...

cj -- I'd be afraid of breaking the chandelier -- and do you dust them with air hose? Jan has a couple of Kosta Boda pieces that I always worry about knocking off the mantle!

Marilyn -- I'm sure the Brooklyn exhibit will be great it's in a wonderful venue.

~ Jim

Laurel said...

I love his stuff; he has an exhibit on at the moment at the New York Botanical Garden that's on the summer list of things-to-do!! (And I'm running out of summer.) Thanks for reminding me of how interesting he is. Cheers!

Pam De Voe said...

Our Botanical Gardens in St Louis has had Chihuly exhibitions a couple of times &, fortunately, the Gardens purchased a few of his wonderful pieces. However, I must say that I thought the same thing about his process: that he was more of a planner. How interesting that he uses more of a panster approach!
BTW, the way the Gardens cleans their chandelier is to take it down piece by piece and then reassemble it. As I understand it, each piece is numbered and a chart tells them where it belongs on the completed chandelier.
Enjoy your grandchild and your trip!

Jim Jackson said...

Laurel -- I know: tomorrow is August. How did that happen?

Pam -- thanks for the information about cleaning the chandeliers. Inquiring minds wanted to know.

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

Glass and its possibilities fascinate me.

I worked in a glass factory for a while (spent one Christmas tending a forehearth even though production was shut down for the holiday) and am still in awe that "batch" made primarily of sand and cullet, ground-up waste glass, ca be converted by het and careful handling into so many useful and beautiful objects.

Everyday Wanderer said...

I love that you got to see his work in his native Washington! I added a link to this post in my recent experience at a Chihuly exhibit here: https://everydaywanderer.com/2017/10/09/chihuly-exhibit/

Happy travels, Sage