Dale Chihuly

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Dale Chihuly has been deemed a visionary for his indelible mark left on the art of glass-blowing over the course of his 40-plus-year career. Born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941, he is often credited with moving blown glass from craft into the domain of high fine art. Though he refuses to categorize himself as such, he is a visionary of light, form and color. His Seattle based studio known as the “hot shop,” is where you can view demonstrations of his visions being created. Chihuly’s signature styles consist of baskets, orbs, sea forms, chandeliers and pointy icicle towers that range in size and color. You can view them in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas or any one of the two hundred museums where his work resides. In 1976, while visiting in England, Chihuly was driving to visit a friend of his when he was struck by another car and went through the windshield. The glass from the windshield blinded him in his left eye and now, subsequently wears an eye patch covering that eye. He has lost his depth perception and has no peripheral vision on his left side. Looking at the world through one eye automatically “flattens the scene,” said Margaret S. Livingstone, an expert on vision and the brain at Harvard Medical School. So how does a 3D glass-blowing sculpture artist continue to create such magnificent works? Instead of holding him back the accident changed the way Chihuly executed his art and shared it with others. After the accident, Chihuly no longer felt safe manipulating molten glass, so a gaffer (as glass-blowers are called), took over the hands-on work and Chihuly expanded his team into something of an army. “I’ve often wondered what the lack of depth perception, what it does for me, because it’s truly difficult to know where things are in space without two eyes. But somehow I think it’s probably made me see things differently, and probably made my work different than somebody else’s.” (Chihuly) Chihuly’s team consists of about 90...
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