Glass City

I have been to Tacoma, Washington two times since early April, and I am amazed at the vibrant glass art community there. There is a Museum of Glass that has a wonderful collection of glass through the centuries, as well as an active glass furnace and workshop where you can see artisans blow glass.  Daughter and I went there in April.  I guess that Tacoma became a center for glass production in the early days as they had lots of saw mills, with lots of wood shavings and waste that could fire furnaces. They also had lots of sand, being on Puget sound.

Husband and I stayed at the Hotel Murano during the trip to Tacoma in May.  Everything, from the handles on the huge glass front doors to the walls of the elevators were in glass, and every floor had an exhibition of current glass artists and their works. They even had glass canoes hanging from the ceiling, a nice tribute to the local Native Americans.

The Museum of Glass is connected to the older part of downtown Tacoma by a bridge of glass. The bridge itself isn’t glass, but there are fantastical glass works displayed on the walk-way. The header photo was taken of works displayed along the walk-way. There also are  glass works piled on top of the walk-way that catch the sun as it shines on the bridge.  It is magical.  

I can’t imagine what would compel someone to decide to commit their life to glass art, but it must be fun.

What magical places and things have you seen?

48 thoughts on “Glass City”

  1. I believe that glass museum is in Tacoma because that is the home of Dale Chihuly, the most famous American blown glass artist.

    When my mother died my father was plunged into grief so profound I worried about him. To get his mind away from that pain, my erstwife and I lured him into joining us on a MIA exhibition of the artistry of Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is a fascinating artist. Since experiencing that exhibition I’ve gone on to observe his work as often as I can.

    There is a DVD set that still can be purchased called Dale Chihuly in the Hot Shop. I recommend it. The video captures the unique blend of individual artistry and group effort that go into artistic glass blowing.

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    1. I had forgotten that Chihuly was from Tacoma, but you’re right—his exhibit was one of the most captivating environments the MIA has ever hosted.

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I thought that I had done a blog post about the Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam. However, I just looked through the blogs I have written and I don’t see it. I thought that was floral magic.

    If nobody remembers reading something like that from me, I will do one soon on that magic.

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  3. Goblin Valley State Park. Utah. The sandstone forms are really interesting. They are so other-than-this-world appearing, that the sci-fi spoof, Galaxy Quest shot scenes there.

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      1. You weren’t there with me or you’d barely remember it at all

        My ex had a teacher colleague tell us where to go there and we did, I ate pub lunches and skipped dinner for the most part in the U.K. Because because they were poor at veggie offerings
        After the b&b finished its dinner and came put to the meeting room we began spcialozing and found one of the regulars there was a guy who taught with our trip advisor and he took to us like long list cousins and decided to teach me the suptleties of scotch drinking and how the peat and the water made a tremendous difference. I didn’t get it until the 15th or 16th shot of whiskey … then I became expert and the last 8 or 10 were all we needed to prove I fully understood
        We had to leave early the next morning and I was very surprised when my new friend didn’t wake up early to see us off. My head was a little cloudy but I do remember the black crag like landscape like a fighting arena on Star Trek as we headed black to the ferry.
        Ahhhh magical

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  4. hawaii and the waterfalls are amazing
    yosemite has many magic places so does yellowstone and glacier, utah has all those cool monument sort of parks, ireland is magic everywhere you go, florence has a feel of magic with the history you feel

    my friend dick huss is a glass blower for st paul who was hot stuff until the art community died in the post 911 cacoon. he never recovered. he had many patrons who loved his work and supported him. then it stopped. he cringes each time chahouilly is mentioned. i think its envy but it is a not entirely. he has his reason and i will leave it at that.

    i love love love glass work and encouraged dick to take a trip with me to china and teach a hand full of artins to make his designs at ana affordable price. he balked. he may be ready now that he has taken down his furnaces and closed up shop. i should give him a holler

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  5. My recollection is that the Chihuly exhibit at the MIA included that walkway in the photo, with all the glass piled on the clear glass panes overhead. I don’t know if it’s the same walkway, or a smaller portable version of it. Probably the latter.

    At the time I thought if I ever won the lottery or inherited a large sum of money I’d pick a room in my house and remodel it with a skylight custom built to hold colorful glass pieces like that. Or, if there wasn’t a place for a skylight, then a big light fixture that would illuminate from above.

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  6. In this country, Yellowstone Park is famous for its geological oddities. The Pacific Northwest, however, sure has plenty of its own. Magical country, indeed.

    Of places I’ve only seen in pictures, New Zealand probably has the most magical landscape of all.

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  7. when i was a kid i would hop on my bile and head for the woods. you would lay your bike down by the trail and go follow deer paths to the next connecting deer paths. they always led to someplace good. we had one place called the fairy springs where the whole side of a hill was filled with watercress and tang.there were the riverborroms where carp spawning and silent winged owls were partners along with the deer beaver and other wildlife, we had hundreds of places and when i grew up to discover that the kids that lived two miles down river had their own set of secret places it all made sense. we all do everywhere we go. we just have to pay attention

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  8. The bluffs along the river do magic for me – before moving back down here, whenever we would make the trip downriver to visit, I started to feel it as soon as we hit the first bluffs south of Lake City. There are also some magical drives through the rolling hills all over the Driftless area that Clyde has written about before.

    I found Paris magical in an entirely different way, and Avignon – the “Old” that I’ve written about.

    And deep woods, the quiet.

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  9. I’ve frequently been amazed, in my three years of living here, by Oregon’s wild and crazy geology. A locally produced PBS show here highlighted the work of a couple whose hobby is to discover previously undocumented waterfalls.

    How can there be an undocumented waterfall? This state’s mountainous terrain is SO steep and dangerous that there are many areas where people just don’t go. For example, this same show recently featured a fantastic gorge with multiple waterfalls that was undiscovered earlier because getting there took about two days and all kinds of technical climbing equipment. Remarkably, some of these gorges and waterfalls were not known even to original American tribes because it just made no sense to explore places like that.

    The couple that seeks out unknown waterfalls usually finds 100 such waterfalls in a summer, year after year. I find that astonishing: 100 waterfalls never before photographed or located or recorded each summer.

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    1. A man around here has identified a few, although undiscovered is the wrong word. And Waterfall is misleading. Trickle is more like some of them. But he did call attention to a rather hidden just west of N. Kato.

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  10. Turnagain Arm in Alaska.
    Any good art gallery especially Russian Museum in Mples
    Central CT. Old roads, houses, graveyards, stone walls, trees.
    Hudson River Valley
    Fort Ridgley
    Old Fort William, Thunder Bay
    Mystic Seaport, CT
    Porcupine Mts. UP
    Keewenaw Peninsula, UP
    River on North shore in Winter
    Several Vistas on Superior Hiking Trail
    Private secluded cove and beach to which we had access on North shore
    Jay Cook State Park. Exposed River bottom
    Root River Bike Trails
    Any neglected country cemetery
    Paradise up the side of Mt. Rainier
    Pike’s Market, Seattle
    San Juan Islands
    Carlsbad Caverns
    Guadaloupe National Park
    Savannah, GA
    Lick Observatory
    U of Chi campus

    I guess I give myself to places.

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    1. i always smile at the episode of cotter where he comments about farting while he pees. just like his dad, and how he says oyee each time he gets up. unfortunately it makes me smile often, too often

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  11. Like Clyde I have many. On one summer trip, Child and I ended up at the Mason City Travel Lodge waiting for some car repair. We asked at the front desk if there was anything interesting within walking distance. The clerk said there was a house up the road that had been owned by an artist and turned into a museum. Imagine our surprise when it turned out the artist was Bil Baird, the maker of marionettes! It was fascinating to see not just the Sound of Music marionettes but many others that he had made. A wonderful afternoon.

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  12. I visited Jay Cooke State Park today. Watching the river flow and crash through and over the rocks, glowing under the warm sun, with a cool breeze blowing: beautiful, maybe even magical.

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      1. We camped there for a week or so once when I was a kid. My dad had something work-related going on in Duluth, so he would drive into the city for that and the rest of us stayed at the park. Us kids had a blast climbing over the rocks and exploring.

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