“The Nature of Glass”
November 2008. Desert Glasshopper Studio (Peggy, Jean & Keith) were asked to assist the Dale Chihuly Design & Installation Team, to create the large exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix Arizona. We spent 11 very long days working alongside the Chihuly crew (from Seattle). It was an incredible thrill, and wonderful experience. To work alongside some of the most creative and brilliant glass artists & designers in the world, was something that we could not have even dreamed would happen to us. I have to say, that every bone and muscle in my body hurts! The work was long days, hot sun, and lots of lifting, shifting, carrying, moving, and more. And we loved every bit of it. To see how those beautiful sculptures go together was so exciting. We saw the design process (it is always different in every location). Some of the pieces are new (created for DBG), others are special pieces from other exhibitions (such as the Athen's Olympics). Many of these pieces have been exhibited around the world.
The team consisted of 9 members of the Chihuly organization (Tom, Brett,Zeb, Daminan, Karen, Karen, Steve, Mike, Dylan & Rick). Turns out Rick & I attended Pilchuck Glass School together a few years ago. It is a small world. The three of us joined in to help build these amazing sculptures. We have been told that this is the largest outdoor exhibition, & first time in the Sonoran Desert, for Dale Chihuly's glass art. They were all down to earth, warm, and talented (not to mention HARD working) artists. As soon as we get our energy levels back, we will be posting more about our experience. To be working with the beautiful glass, and to learn more about how it was made - well those are stories that need to be told. Fascinating. I always had a great deal of respect for Dale Chihuly. After this project, that respect has grown. His talent, and his selection of people, glass, color, and more - just is amazing.