Top: Dale Chihuly
Nijima float project 1997
Photo: Shaun Chappel

Dale Chihuly September
1996 from Chihuly over
Venice, Italy
Photo: Terry Rishel

Chihuly has gone on to produce numerous museum exhibitions and public commissions. Today he is internationally celebrated for his artistic and technical contributions to glass sculpture and has been named America's first National Living Treasure. He has won many awards and has been the recipient of five honorary doctorates. Chihuly's glass is in collections as diverse as the Louvre, Paris, the White House, Washington DC, and the Hyatt Hotel, Adelaide.

Heat, gravity and centrifugal force are the most distinctive aspects of Chihuly's glass blowing technique.

To learn more, see the video, Chihuly: Installations (KCTS 9, 1992), now showing in the James Fairfax Theatre.

Home | Next.....

Frog foot chandalier 1995 glass 366x183 cm
Photo: Russell Johnson

The American artist Dale Chihuly is world-renowned for his innovative and artistically impressive sculpture using glass. His involvement with the medium is long and distinguished. Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly initially studied interior design, then travelled in Europe and went to work for a large architectural firm as a designer. He began working with glass in the early sixties at the University of Wisconsin with Harvey Littleton, and at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he collaborated with James Carpenter and Italo Scanga.

In 1968 Chihuly's explorations of glass were furthered when, as a Fullbright Fellow, he went to Venice where he studied at the Venini Factory in Murano.

Dale Chihuly drawing 1992 The Boathouse, Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo: Russell Johnson

The Italian tradition - in which a team of glass blowers orchestrate a single object - has been significant for Chihuly and the studio glass movement more generally. Chihuly recognised the impact that a structured group could have on the scale and elaborateness of a piece, and this collaborative approach became an important tenet of the Pilchuck Glass School. Pilchuck (Chinook: 'red water') was cofounded in 1971 by Chihuly, with the support of patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg. Almost thirty years later Pilchuck remains a major centre for contemporary glass.