Chihuly first filled boats with glass in Nuutajärvi, Finland, during the “Chihuly Over Venice” project in 1995. After several days of glassblowing, Chihuly started tossing glass forms into the Nuutajoki river to see how they would look in the environment. As the glass floated downstream it was retrieved in wooden boats by local teenagers, inspiring Chihuly to begin massing forms into wooden boats, creating what would become the Boat series.
Named for the island of Niijima in Tokyo Bay, and for the small Japanese fishing floats Chihuly would find on the shores of Puget Sound as a child, Niijima Floats are very likely the largest glass spheres ever blown (up to 40 inches in diameter and up to 80 pounds). The Floats are generally displayed in groups, either indoors or outdoors. New Floats were blown for the Biltmore exhibition.
Chihuly at Biltmore – Float Boat and Niijima Floats
Chihuly made his first Reeds in 1995 at the Hackman factory in Nuutajärvi, a small glassblowing town in Finland. The Hackman facility had high ceilings and large annealing ovens, allowing Chihuly to make these elongated forms.
To create the long, tubular shape of a Reed, one glassblower must be elevated in a mechanical lift while blowing through the pipe to encourage the form to stretch, while another pulls the glass toward the ground.
Neodymium Reeds with Fiori Verdi at Biltmore incorporates reeds that were made at the Hackman factory in Nuutajärvi.
Chihuly at Biltmore – Neodymium Reeds with Fiori Verdi
The Fiori Boat, designed for Chihuly at Biltmore, features a vast array of Chihuly’s whimsical, nature-inspired forms, including herons, seal pups, marlins, cattails, onions, and reeds.
Chihuly at Biltmore – Fiori Boat
Chihuly at Biltmore – Fiori Boat Different View
Chihuly at Biltmore – Fiori Boat Brilliant Colors
The Palazzo Ducale Tower at Biltmore is a classic demonstration of Chihuly’s desire to mass color on a steel armature for dramatic effect. The Tower rises from the ground like a huge stalagmite and has become an iconic installation in Chihuly’s exhibitions.
Chihuly at Biltmore – Palazzo Ducale Tower
A panorama of Pergola Garden Chihuly art at Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina
Chihuly at Biltmore – Pergola Garden Fiori Panorama
Glass sculptures with bright, attractive colors by Chihuly at Biltmore
Chihuly at Biltmore – Pergola Garden Fiori Shades of Blue
Chihuly at Biltmore – Pergola Garden Fiori Lighted Aquamarine
Chihuly at Biltmore – Pergola Garden Fiori Eggplant and Aquamarine
In the Pergola Garden at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, Chihuly presents glass art in shades of green and black
Chihuly at Biltmore – Pergola Garden Fiori Shades of Green and Black