A stained-glass window and a foggy day inspired Dale Chihuly’s vibrantly bold series Macchia. “I remembered that if one was looking at a stained-glass window . . . the window usually didn’t look as colorful when there was a bright blue sky in the background as it did when it was foggy. It’s the white of the fog, like a light table, that allows you to see the true colors,” the artist has stated. In 1981, Chihuly began implementing a process to achieve an effect similar to what he had noticed. Sandwiching a layer of white glass in between two colored glass layers allowed him to create daring combinations in his Macchia series, fully expressing his innate passion for color.
Layer upon layer of glass compose Nordic Blue Macchia, a 2016 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition. Clouds of variegated blues eclipse the exterior while a secondary layer of orange and chartreuse flecks dances across the surface of this compelling form. These flecks, called “jimmies,” are small chips of glass that are barely melted into the composition, creating an unmistakable presence and dimension. The vivid red-orange interior, glimpsed through small patches of translucency, provides a luminous inner glow. A yellow-orange lip wrap captures the definitive undulations of this series, derived from the combined spontaneity of gravity and human breath.
Chihuly’s signature is engraved on each handblown work, which stands approximately nine inches tall. A custom-designed display vitrine and Chihuly Macchia, a hardcover book with an informative short DVD that details the series developed by Chihuly in the early 1980s, accompany this collectible Studio Edition.
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Photo by David Emery.