The public got the chance to see world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly in action on Sunday, Sept. 23. The Museum of Glass welcomed the Tacoma native and his team to the museum’s Hot Shop for a day-long appearance as part of the museum’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Watching Chihuly and his team in the Hot Shop, there was a sense of reverence among the audience members. With his distinctive curly hair and eye patch, Chihuly has become an iconic figure and a source of pride for the South Sound. He was instrumental in putting glassblowing on the map and is one of the medium’s most well-known artists. His team, which included fellow artists Joey Kirkpatrick, Flora C. Mace, James Mongrain and Joey DeCamp, seemed impervious to the star-struck audience, serenely handling 2400°F glass to the sounds of Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen.
The team was working to create a piece for Chihuly’s series Soft Cylinders, in which a detailed arrangement of glass threads is placed onto a hotplate then fused to the glass vessel. You can view work by Chihuly and other glass artists at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. The museum even offers workshops on glass fusing and other techniques. Learn to create your own glass and maybe even claim your own little bit of fame.