Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Three Days in Seattle -- Chihuly Garden and Glass

You can read Part One about my vacation time being a tourist in Seattle here.

I actually visited Chihuly Garden and Glass on my own, since Nigel had gone back to work before I got it together enough to visit. But I did meet him for lunch, which was fun.

I started my day out with a trip to Pike Place Market at 9 a.m., when many of the craft vendors were still setting up their booths. Most of the produce, flower, fish and food vendors were already open. Pike Place Market is one of the oldest, continually operating farmer's markets in the U.S.

You can get some really beautiful, locally grown flowers at the Market.

This booth sells dried flowers enclosed in prisms and hung on cords, for wearing as a necklace.

After wandering the Market for an hour or so, I headed back to Seattle Center to view the glass exhibit. Chihuly Garden and Glass is a museum devoted to the work of Dale Chihuly, a world-renowned Tacoma-born glass artist and entrepeneur. This museum replaced an old and quite cheesy little fun-fair, with kiddie rides, probably left over from the 1962 World's Fair. It's a vast improvement.

Glass art is extremely popular here in the PNW. There is a Museum of Glass in Tacoma, which I'd like to visit some day as well.

I loved these slumped baskets inside baskets.

The lighting was really clever. Somehow, there was enough light to see by, plenty actually, and yet all the glass art was also lit very brightly, to the extent that they almost looked like they were floating in a sea of black.

Chihuly went through a period where he did a lot of sea creatures in glass. I loved his octopi!

Chihuly calls these Mille Fiori, which means a thousand flowers in Italian. This huge room was full of the most wonderful flowery shapes and bright colors!

Then there were these two boats, full of floats and swirly glass shapes, which he calls Ikebana.

This boat full of floats and squiggles is sitting on a highly polished platform that reflects the pieces beautifully.

Here you can get some idea of the size of the chandeliers Dale Chihuly creates.

After making my way through the museum, I finally went outside into the garden to explore.

I thought it was cool the way they matched the color of the glass ornaments to the flowers.

Good thing I went on a sunny day, so the blue glass can echo the cloudless sky.

Another amazing color echo!

Love the contrast between the sharp angular glass and the organic, whorled shapes of the tree roots.

These odd balloon-like shapes reminded me of a horde of baby seals. Nigel called them licorice slugs. Kinda like banana slugs, but sweeter.

You can see the Space Needle reflected in this glass globe, which has color echoes of the black mondo grass planted with it. And if you look closely in the center, you can also see me!
You exit through the souvenir shop, where if you have a spare $6,000 or $7,000 lying around, you can buy your very own piece of Chihuly glass art. Very pretty, but I'd be afraid of breaking it!

I hope you enjoyed visiting the glass museum with me. I had a blast!