I have never been to Seattle… but now I have found another reason to want to go. The first one I blogged about yesterday… the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual production of Sendak’s Nutcracker Suite. The second is the glass museum in nearby Tacoma.
By coincidence I was looking up information about bridges. Our local paper had reported that a new pedestrian bridge has won a design award… it crosses twelve lanes of highway plus an area of wetlands in the east end of Hamilton to maintain continuity of the waterfront trail along the shore of Lake Ontario. I was curious and went searching for a photo to post.
Imagine my astonishment to find that in Tacoma, Washington (which is 32 miles from Seattle) there is museum of glass and a pedestrian bridge made of art glass! Tacoma native, Dale Chihuly is the artist. Here is the link for Google images.
A pedestrian bridge made of art glass!
I have seen the stained glass windows in some of the cathedrals in Europe… awesome, but they are vertical and high above you. You see the wonderful blended colours, an ambient light that is impossible to describe and impossible to forget. And I have seen some Tiffany glass windows in Lockport, NY, where one can see the windows quite close… the thickness of the glass and richness of colour is astonishing. I have watched glass blowers at work, and there is a wonderful stained glass studio at the Mill at St Jacobs Ontario.
But can you imagine walking under a stained glass bridge on a sunny day!?
I fell in love with art glass at the Czech Pavillion at Expo ’67 in Montreal.
My own collection of glass is mostly cut crystal… wonderful, wonderful!
My mother had several very large coloured glass ashtrays… probably in the early 1960’s. She also had a very large one shaped like a boomerang in peculiar shades of blue. They were terribly heavy and absolutely no use as an ashtray or anything else. Gone now. Do you remember them? She also had collection of glass paperweights, now lovingly packed away.
I have a small blown glass angel made by the late Shirley Elford to commemorate the courage of cancer victims, and Christmas tree ornaments made of spun glass… fine transparent filaments in airy complex shapes.
I had never heard of Dale Chihuly. I want to make some art quilts based on the brilliant colours and organic shapes. Eye candy and inspiration! Silk, definitely silk!
I do not see a trip to Seattle any time soon. But on one of these beautiful spring days I intend to follow the Lincoln Alexander Parkway to the Red Hill Expressway and walk across that spectacular pedestrian bridge. And then I will come home and play with my kaleidoscopes, and take the dusty crystal pieces out of the display cabinet and wash and polish them dry.
There is so much more to glass than windows and stylish containers for wine at dinner. My precious reading glasses, for example.
And never forget that “people who live in glass houses should never throw stones,” or that “a glass half empty is a glass half filled.”