This artist holds particular significance for me as a ceramic artist, because he has successfully elevated a "craft" material well beyond it's expected potential to create a body of work that is recognized and appreciated as the fine art that it is.
Glass artist, Dale Chihuly's newest exhibition: Chihuly Garden and Glass opened this past May at the Space Needle in Seattle Washington. I have been commissioned to create a set of 48 bowls which will be included at the exhibition's gift shop. I am schoolgirl giddy about this opportunity! Really without words. Grinning as I type this and still without any real articulation. Just so happy.
Chihuly Garden and Glass photo: http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/glasshouse
In 2007 I sketched a series of bowls which were a total departure from the work I was making. These pieces were organic, shapely and delightfully off center. The focus of these pieces was to extract the basic function of the form, in this case a bowl to create a piece of art by the stacking and nesting of multiple various sized bowls. I wanted the clay to remain clay, not a tightly controlled material thrown with machine like precision, but thin, carefully thrown pieces which celebrated the natural quality of the clay, that is the inherent movement of the clay. Clay that was guided, clay that was in control, not controlled. In many ways these sketches were the beginning of my current work.
(Sketchbook February 2007)
Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition photo: http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/glasshouse
Amazing, isn't it? After studying glassblowing (briefly and angrily-- I hate being hot) I am able to appreciate the delicate beauty of these glass sculptures on another level, a level deeper even than the notable reverence I used to feel. Now I am just speechless. Absolutely no words. Glassblowers everywhere you impress me.
Below are studio shots of the commissioned bowls I made for the exhibition's gift shop:
Truly living my dreams.