Seaform

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Dale Chihuly

American, born 1941

Seaform, 1991

  • On View

Blown glass

Dimensions: 17 × 32 × 20 in. (43.2 × 81.3 × 50.8 cm)

Bequest of Russell J. Cameron, 1997.10

While in school Dale Chihuly traveled to Venice, Italy, to observe the techniques of the great Venetian masters. He witnessed a team approach to glassblowing that was not practiced by many American artists at the time. He brought the idea back to the United States and began teaching it to students at Pilchuck Glass School. He also relies on his team to help create artworks like Seaform. Chihuly has long been concerned with the ways fire, gravity, and centrifugal force can be used to stretch glass to its edge. He discovered that blowing glass into ribbed moulds gave the sculpture more strength so when the pipe is spun centrifugal force stretches the glass but holds its organic shape. Seaform is from a series attributed to the natural rhythms of the sea. The thin walls of glass, created by spinning the pipe while the glass is hot, bend in an organic way, almost as if the sculpture is in a permanent state of transformation.

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