Good Essay On Dale Chihuly: A Remarkable Glassblower

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Art, Water, Sea, Artists, Time, Series, Education, World

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/05

The art of glassblowing has obtained outstanding recognition in various places across the world. Glassblowing is defined as the process of shaping glasses. One of the most renowned glassblowers is Dale Chihuly.

About Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly was born in 1941. On that same year, different crafts emerged post-World War II. Chihuly is widely known for his remarkable glass works and their symbolism. Chihuly incorporates colors and natural context in all his works. For Chihuly, his fascination for glass blowing started in 1965. That time was also the first step Chihuly had ever taken to becoming a renowned glass artist across the globe. Since then, Chihuly became the pioneer of art marketing.
Following his graduation in 1965, Chihuly worked as a designer for John Graham Architects in Seattle. He was also a commercial fisherman in Alaska, earning money for graduate school. In 1966, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Chihuly had the opportunity to attend university with Harvey Littleton, a recognized pioneer of the studio glass movement. It was that time and place when Chihuly broke the studio craft tradition of the solitary of glassblowing and worked in collaboration with Fritz Dreisbach. From that time on, Chihuly has been using a collaborative model of working throughout his career.
In 1967, Chihuly taught glassblowing at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine. In 1968, he was lucky to get a Fulbright funding to attend schooling at the Venini glass factory in Murano, Venice. Venice is known as the “Mecca of glassblowing” since the thirteenth century due to its remarkable masterpieces. While in Venice, Dale greatly admired their method of commercial glassblowing. However, after visiting the ateliers of independent glass artists including Erwin Eisch in Germany, and Jaroslava Brychtova and Stanislav Libensky in Czechoslovakia, Chihuly came up with an idea of developing a new model of glass creation back in the United States.

Techniques Used by Chihuly

The main technique Dale uses in his works – is the one he has gained while being in Venice. It is the primary technique of the glassblowing, which was used by masters since the thirteenth century. Chihuly uses special tools, called blow pipes to blow air into the molten glass. It helps to create different kinds of shapes. Another way of creating Chihuly’s masterpieces is multi-part blowing of the compositions. Chihuly has also set a system of the collaboration, where he can produce large-scale modern sculpture from a formerly precious medium.
The process of the development of his works seems to be simple but in the reality, it is a hard work. So, this is how Dale is creating his masterpieces: the heat from the furnace is extreme, and the lumps of molten glass are being handled at the end of the blowing pipes that have a weight of 40lb or even more. Because of its weight, Dale works with a team of up to 12 people. This team is working all together with great effectiveness; everyone is helping the gaffer – Joey DeCamp, who has been collaborating with Chihuly for almost 20 years – while he heats and shapes the glass. Craftsmen open the furnace doors when master needs to heat up the glass, and add a lip of various colored molten glass to the flower – shape, which he is making. Then Chihuly is thwacking the glass with paddles, made of wood, in order to add curves until, in the end, the loader gets dressed in a weighty protective suit and then carefully puts the finished piece into the tempering ovens to cool at a controlled temperature.
On this point, it is important to look more detailed on Dale Chihuly’s series of works. He is using different kinds of techniques, trying to embody what he saw in his imagination. All his works are remarkable and extraordinary. Chihuly’s Sea form series appeared in 1980 from the Native American Basket series; a link revealed not only by their extraordinary, organic forms but also by a comparison with Edward S. Curtis’s Wash Baskets. The Sea forms are creating that special watery atmosphere that is a part and parcel of the Pacific Northwest. All works from this series have a strong connection to the artist’s life experience. The artist spent most of his life in Puget Sound, an immense aquarium flourishing with life, encircled by a moist rainforest terrarium having amazing flora and fauna. It all has strong roots far from his childhood. Dale Chihuly is showing his special connection with the water in his works and also, he finds in it the source of the inspiration. He also finds water as the greatest source of his creativity.
Pale Green Sea form Set with Green Lip Wrap of 1980 seems to be frozen stood in water. The symmetrical spheres having radial patterns are representing sea urchin shells. On the other hand, the undulating rims of the bigger forms are a depiction of the translucent jellyfish that float in Puget Sound, transforming steadily via their swimming movement, and by way of the wave action that rearranges their symmetry. Notwithstanding the similarity of the Sea forms to water life, Chihuly has noted that he is not imitating nature. The only thing he is trying to do is to repeat its sensory impacts and processes. The organic transformations of the Sea forms, which looks like they are beating and pulsing, opening and closing, offered one of Chihuly's greatest exposures—the revolution of purportedly sluggish resources into the same particularly for living creations.
The next series of Chihuly’s great works is the “Venetians.” They are referring to that period of artist’s life, when he was in Venice. This connection is clearly noticeable. The Venetians series indicates a radical separation from the natural organic shapes formed, as Chihuly has stated, from the fire, molten glass and human breath, spontaneity, whirled force and, of course, gravity, by which his early period of the career has been intimated. The design of the Venetians has developed along a new esthetic consistency, which was received with Chihuly’s admiration of a private collection of Art Deco glass. Since that time, Chihuly has started to collaborate with master of the glassblowing Venetian glassblower Lino Tagliapietra to reappraise the elements of the traditional glass vessel by creating glass sculpture, at the same time, embodies and reimagines tradition in Venetian glass art. So, here we can see artist’s another technique in the glassblowing.
All the works presented above show high level of professionalism. The Sea forms and the Venetians are passing onto the viewer that magical world which an artist sees in his imagination. All works of Chihuly are brilliant. It must be real hard work and self-devotion that helped Chihuly to create such great works. Nothing speaks better for the artist as his or hers works. Talking about his Sea forms series, especially about the Misty White Sea form, 1982, it is unacceptable to omit that smoothness and calmness, embodied in this work. The same goes for the Emerald Green Sea form Set with Yellow Lip Wraps, 1994. Seems, like these seashells are in the sea and depending on the light point – they seem to be moving.
In the Venetians, it is important to notice that special elegance of work inherent to the existing, well-known artworks from the Venice, especially, starting from the 13th century. Such great example can be a Silvered Piccolo Venetian Perched on Aqua Speckled Leaves. This is a perfect example of how the artist has managed to pass the magic onto the viewer. All details were accurately made, creating an image of a magical ball, giving us the spirit of the Venice of the Medieval Age. This holds true for his other works - Silvered Venetian with Tansy and Oxblood Flowers and Gold over Cobalt Venetian. Through them, Dale Chihuly managed to pass his point of view on how the “Venetian” style of glassblowing would be like nowadays. These two representations seem to be different but at the same time they are connected by one main line. All his works are remarkable and unique. This artist is a great example of the modern glassblowing, taking roots from the post-World-War-II time. In his works, Dale Chihuly is sharing with the viewer his source of inspiration – water, offering others to collaborate with him. On my mind, Dale Chihuly’s artworks are truly considered to be world masterpieces.

Source,. 'Dale Chihuly Glass-Contemporary Art Glass Sculpture-Chihuly Glass Art'. N.p., 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

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