These photos are taken by Roger Meyers. There were over 1600 images for us to choose from, and for those, he had to edit his images down from about 3000! SO, this is a thank you to him and to all the other participants who journeyed on that 5-day tour and had the best time ever looking at glass, meeting the artists, touring around Seattle and dining on excellent food.
Walking into a hot shop is exhilarating, and even if you have done it before, that sense of wonder never lessens, believe us, as we have been going on these trips to Seattle for over 15 years, and some of our collectors have opted to go back with us 2 or 3 times…. It’s that good!
Below is a link to our online blog where many more photos are posted.
Enjoy! Jim and Kim
Benjamin Moore is a wealth of information about the history of glass in Seattle.
A fitting follow up to Dale Chihuly is the studio of Debora and Benjamin Moore. Benjamin was very instrumental to the early glass movement in Seattle. We visited the original “Glass Eye Studio”, a hotshop where many artists in the 70’s and 80’s worked on production glass objects. This is where Benjamin and Debora currently make their own art and rent out the space to other glass artists.
Primary Color glass roundels with Spiral Wraps and Powdered Coated Bronze.
Done in collaboration with Louis Mueller.
Private Residence, Seattle, WA
Benjamin worked with Chihuly at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) as a gaffer, and has had a long ongoing relationship with Chihuly. Moore expressed a deep appreciation for the profound impact that Dale has had on the glass movement. After graduating from RISD, Benjamin wrote to many glass companies to get more experience and eventually worked at J+L Loebmeyer in Austria, and in Murano at the prestigious Venini Factory, where he convinced the director to hire him to do odd jobs at the factory. There, Moore worked with the Master glassblower, Checco Ongaro, a formed a friendship where Ongaro helped made some of Moores designs and demonstrated certain Muranese glass blowing techniques. From 74-88 Benjamin also worked at Pilchuck Glass School, and long story short, it’s a rich and rewarding history that Ben Moore has lived. By following his instincts to travel, to learn and by inviting Ongaro, a year later, in ’79, he invited Lino Tagliapietra to the USA. Ben Moore is partially responsible for bringing the Italian techniques to Pilchuck, the glass school which his teacher Dale Chihuly began up in the forest of Stanwood WA.
Moore also shared the sad tale of the radical decline of many glass companies in Europe that are gone because they have not kept up with a contemporary approach to the material… and perhaps it is for this reason that Benjamin has remained true to his original intentions – to create clean, simple designs based upon the techniques that first inspired him.
Debora Moore with her installation of bamboo and orchids.
When Debora Moore speaks about her work, one can feel they are in the quiet forest in the presence of a very rare orchid, which has a potential to heal or uncover the mysteries of the past. This is also the sense of importance each intricate sculpture emanates from their scientific-looking glass boxes or bottles, or climbing the wall of her studio. Debora possesses a great fortitude and focus that has led her to endless research in books or solo expeditions throughout the world in order to directly observe the conditions and qualities of the moss, lichen and orchids that she represents in her art. In the hotshop, she incorporates her research with her intention and a wide range of techniques to sculpt the glass into her interpretation of the patterns and textures of nature. Years of practice, invention and hard work looking for the exact technique to make the patterns for a moss covered log, or folding and sculpting the colored glass to create the petals of the Giant Moth Orchid seem so involved, it is clear that no one can replicate what she has developed. Through her exploration of glass and nature, the artist has developed a variety of series to tell her stories of nature, survival, and the beauty of decay.
Giant Moth Orchid
Detail of Giant Moth Orchid
Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace composing a glass drawing for a Soft Cylinder.
Each spring we travel west to visit artists and select work for the upcoming season at the gallery in Stockbridge. It is a great experience and we learn something new every time. This year, we visited more than 25 artists over 5 days. Its a bit like the Woodstock of glass! Only with great food and wine and witnessing firsthand the amazing creativity and inspiration of the artists we represent.
Our first stop is Chihuly’s Boathouse, the Ballard Studio and then Chihuly Garden of Glass. Traveling to Seattle and visiting the artists studios gives us the opportunity to choose some really great work for the gallery.
Surprise treat…. Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick working on a glass drawing for a Soft Cylinder at the Chihuly Boathouse! Everyone was captivated by the process and thrilled by the rare opportunity to witness these important artists working together. The team blew two huge baskets with Jim Mongraine as the gaffer. You can gain a little insight into the week by clicking on the images below and following along. Of course, you can visit our gallery and see some of the great selections we made which are being delivered over the next few weeks, not only from Seattle, but also New England, Tennessee, California, Australia, Sweden, France, Czech Republic and Italy!
See you soon! Kim & Jim