Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Glass Man Cometh

Idling away my time in Tacoma (as I have been for the past couple of days) there aren't a lot of choices, so sooner or later you wind up at the Museum of Glass where they show you the work of Dale Chihuli and others (I keep trying to say "Cthulu").  It's impressive in its way although there does seem to be a certain tendency to try stuff just to see if it can be done--I rather favor some of the less assertive pieces, seemingly more devoted to capturing the sheer glassiness of glass (there's a lovely roundish something, gunmetal grey on grey, of which sadly I cannot seem to locate a picture).  Mrs. Buce kept muttering that we do it better in Palookaville and on this judgment, as with so many others, she is probably right.  Two special offerings, however stand out.  One is the Hot Shop, the real-time glass-making factory, available through a live webcam, and offering more 2200-degree molten blobs at the end of long poles--with fewer safety precautions--than I've ever seen anywhere.  Someday somebody will gaze perplexedly at the underwriter and utter the immortal phrase "what were you thinking?" I cannot begin to guess what he will answer.

The other is more unambiguously charming.  It's a roomful of kids drawings--suggestions, really--and their rendering in glass models.  There's a cool slide show here,  but it showcases only the models.  To appreciate the captivating nature of the enterprise, you'd want to see the original drawings, and to observe how completely the modelers have captured the intentions of their designers.  Worth a detour, that, even if the museum as a whole is just worth a stop.  

1 comment:

Scott said...

In the early-90s I flew up to see a Seattle to see Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande. The costumes were all done in WW I attire, and the set pieces were created in glass by Dale Chiluli. Odd mash up of styles, but the opera itself was lovely.