It’s been almost 7 years since I registered for a glassblowing course at Urban Glass on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. In my late-20s and early-30s, very few things could get me to rise early on the weekend, but glassblowing sure did. It was so exciting to try something new. And while it turns out that I’m actually a terrible glass blower (I thought my experience with sculpture would help, but it didn’t) it was so much fun to try.
The fruits of my glassblowing labor bore a few sad looking vessels and something that vaguely resembled an ashtray, which is not practical at all since I’m not a smoker. I also managed to salvage a sort-of mortar & pestle combo that I proudly display in our kitchen, but it was meant to be something else (which I can’t remember now).
I guess what I’m saying is this: glassblowing is incredibly difficult and just because you want things come out a certain way, doesn’t mean they will. Adding color and blowing elongated forms or elaborate shapes is no easy task. The technical precision, along with the tremendous amount of patience required to have complicated designs (or even simple ones) come to fruition, makes me appreciate the work of Dale Chihuly and his Studio even more…
Chihuly at theDenver Botanic Gardens is simply stunning. The glass pops with color and texture and the placement of the forms - largely inspired by nature - are integrated throughout the gardens and the pools.
Try and visit the garden on an overcast day, in the late afternoon. That’s when we went - the temperatures were a bit cooler and the crowds were a little bit less intense. I can’t wait to go back at night and see the sculptures when they’re illuminated.
Chihuly has inspired me…and I think it might be time to try glassblowing again. After all, it’s been 7 years and in that time most of my scars have completely faded…