It's the singular quote we hear more often from people who see our larger pieces of artwork. "Wow, it's just like Chihuly!" I used to get a little miffed at that comment, because our works are NOT just like Chihuly. Our works are our own and usually meant to depict something in particular, like the Solar System. From the many pieces I've seen of his works, they're a conglomeration of lots of littler pieces into a giant swirly piece. It's the sheer magnitude of all the pieces put together that makes it so dramatic. And *he* doesn't even do all the work himself. We do all our own work!
With our works, they're beautiful, but they also WORK! There is "Science" involved! The solar system mobile spins in orbits and the planets are blown glass made to relative scale with each other. It's a work of art, but also has quite a lot of knowledge and engineering behind it. The orrery that we build has the blown glass planets in their correct orbits, relative scale to each other and they actually rotate the correct direction and correctly scaled to each other as well! It's an impressive work of engineering, *and* a beautiful structure as well.
Then we were commissioned to build a table base. The client likes Chihuly art, so I endeavored to design something beautiful and strong enough to support her enormous tabletop. The design I came up with was this:
And it is beautiful. The structure of the support tubes and cross linked arms are what support the tabletop. The glass work on the structure is purely art. There is no engineering function to the glass at all. It is a conglomeration of beautiful smaller pieces that combine to make a dazzling whole. And I like it. That isn't to say that I'm going to switch and only make these random mashups from now on and drop my whole engineering background, but it was very nice to not have to construct computer drives, gearing, swivels and such in this piece. I could just focus on the beauty of the individual pieces. "Looks like Chihuly"? Thank you. I'll go raise my prices now.