Chihuly Glass Part 3

Chihuly Glass Part 3

The last post introduced you to Dale Chihuly and a bit of his design biography. I then shared a description and photos of part of the exhibit I attended in Richmond, Virginia. I related it just a little bit to thinking about interior design and color. Check it out if you missed it. Today I will share photos of two more installations – the ceiling installation, referred to as “Persian Ceiling” and the “Macchia Forest”. The Persian Ceiling was a hallway you walked into, with the glass overhead, and it literally glowed prism-like because of the varied colors and forms that were backlit and created a wonderful wash of pattern on the walls. You were welcome to lay on the floor to look at it, but everyone just bent their necks back and took it all in, walking slowly through the corridor. I walked in a circle, then leaned against the wall. You felt like you were underwater, because as some people walked through, they interrupted the light and so the patterns and shadows changed on the wall, like the sun on rippling water at sunset. It was mesmerizing, and was the one installation I backtracked to before exiting the entire exhibit. The ceiling is made up of more than 1,000 pieces of glass, layered using familiar shapes of the sea-shells, sea urchins, and starfish among others.

When you design a room, you consider not just color, but how light affects the design, and how the forms or shapes of furniture, fabric textures, and objet’d art  all come together to create the desired form for that room. Do bright colors work for you? Patterns? Do you have a preference for certain shapes? The photos in this Chihuly series can help you find your true preferences for color. Part 4 of this series will look at subdued and more monochromatic colors. Maybe you appreciate all the exploding riot of color, but personally prefer less drama. But perhaps viewing this might affect you such that you discover that color, lots of it is really who you are. Perhaps you might choose to not be quite so daring inside the house, but can express yourself with color in the garden—with objects placed around and in your garden that bring a monochromatic garden alive. Lots of options! So here we go with the photos……….










“Macchia Forest” represented his classic use of shell-shaped sculptures. Chihuly manages to leave room for ones own interpretation. While they seem to invoke shells, each organically-shaped sculpture is placed on a pedestal of a varying height, one might also see flowers, suggestive of a glass forest. His genius allows one to form their own vision. In this installation, and in only this one, he used every color available for glass making, which included more than 300 luscious colors. The lighting used throughout the exhibition was perfection, and this was no exception. The walls and ceiling were black and reflective, and the space was confined, just large enough to fit the pieces,  the total look and feeling was one of expansiveness.

In designing a room, one will be acutely aware of how color makes you feel. Color never stands alone, but is affected by the architecture of the room itself (doors, windows, trim) and by light, whether emitted from an interior or exterior source. Outside the entrance to the Richmond Museum of Fine Arts is a sculpture garden, and it includes a water feature with bright red glass reeds. The result evokes a different response than a similar installation inside that I will show in another post. Lighting and color…….below are the photos of “Macchia Forest”







So there you have it….plenty of color to suit most anyone! Monday, Part 4 will show a subtler side of Dale Chihuly’s imagination. The way the museum presented this installation was in the middle, giving your senses a rest from excitement, bringing it down a notch to review some early American history in a beautiful way. Hope you will come back! cheers, charisse


Leave a Reply