Chihuly on Fire
by Henry Adams (author) and Dale Chihuly (artist)
2016, 212 pages, 9.3 x 12.1 x 0.9 inches
For several decades now, art critics and casual admirers alike have talked about Dale Chihuly’s art in terms of its forms. Indeed, the artist himself organizes his work largely by their physical shapes, as does his latest self-published coffee-table book, Chihuly on Fire, whose chapter titles range from “Baskets” and “Sea Forms” to “Jerusalem Cylinders” and “Rotolo.” But thumbing the pages of this sumptuous, hardcover volume, and reading the biographical essay by art-history professor Henry Adams, one is struck by the importance of color to Chihuly’s work.
The shift to color began in 1981, when Chihuly and his team of gaffers and assistants produced the first of what would become known as the Macchia series. These often enormous vessels, whose sides were usually folded and deformed, featured solid-color interiors, lip wraps in contrasting hues, and thousands of “jimmies” of pure crushed colored glass, usually set against a background of white glass “clouds.”
Even in his early days, Chihuly’s ambitions for his chosen medium seemed larger than the modest network of glass-art galleries around the country would have the wherewithal to support. By the time his Macchia pieces came along, the so-called craft arts, of which glass art was but one, were allowed to be exuberant and even a bit zany, but they were ultimately expected to exhibit good table manners, to sit uncomplainingly at the kid’s table of the art world. Read the rest
“A lot of people can crochet. Jayna Grassel can do it FAST.” Read the rest
It’s a book of step by step drawing instructions. All you need is a ruler, compass, pencil and pen. While the geometry behind theses patterns is enormously sophisticated, actually drawing out the shapes is surprisingly easy and relaxing. It’s also a fun and painless lesson in geometry, especially for those of us not inclined towards math..
Beyond graffiti. The artists featured in Street Craft apply non-paint to the urban landscape. Instead of spray cans they use yarn, cloth, plastic, plants, and sculpture. This “street crafting” is full of surprises in ways that are original and brilliant, witty and profound. The craftsmanship is excellent. The concepts can be subversive, or uplifting. Think of it as public art without permission. The book is a glorious catalog of some of the best pieces which have appeared on streets of the world. No matter what you create, they’ll be some great ideas here.art Read the rest
The Minnesotastan says: "One of my prized possessions is a walking stick that was hand-carved for me by an elderly man in Kentucky when I used to live and work there. The one above was carved by a craftsman in Oregon from a single stick of wood. Here is his video documenting the process."
“Our dog Buddy has become blind because of cataracts. My fiancé has made him this bumper harness so that he can confidently walk around the house without hurting himself!” Read the rest
The all-caps and the exclamation points are mandatory. Read the rest
Author Michael Lind weighs in with this thought-provoking essay about what happens when an art form shrinks to a niche market. Using literature and architecture as examples, he organizes major and minor arts horizontally, based on audience size: Read the rest