Monday, June 2, 2008

Diversion: glass

The legendary designs of Arthur Erickson and Dale Chihuly intersect at the breathtaking Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. These two giants of design, each in his own medium, were featured in documentaries recently aired on television here. This prompted us to make a short weekend trip south to experience the architecture and glass exhibits at the MOG. The current exhibition features Lino Tagliapietra who is one of the world's preeminent glass artists. His work is astoundingly beautiful and fluid (no photography was allowed in the exhibition hall, but no photograph could do them justice anyways).

Connecting the MOG to the city of Tacoma is the Bridge of Glass, a 500 feet long pedestrian bridge in which three separate installations of Chihuly's work are contained. The centre of the bridge showcases the Crystal Towers, two 40 feet tall monuments created from large glacial blue sculptural crystals cast from a material called Polyvitro. They reminded me of giant blue sugar crystals. In fact, throughout my visit to the MOG, I kept wondering what would happen if a glass artist collaborated with a sugar artist? The ability of sugar to be cast, pulled, and blown to create endless forms mirrors the characteristics of glass but to a limit. Sugar has an impermanence and fragility unlike glass but their qualities in response to light and colour are alike.

Speaking of sugar, we headed to Bakery Nouveau (on the recommendation of my boss), a patisserie in West Seattle owned by William Leaman, an award-winning boulanger. As expected, there was a short line-up out the door; the unbelievable duck sandwich, croque-madame, macarons, passionfruit chocolate tart, and croissants which Eric and I shared (over a period of 24 hours, not at one meal) were simple yet superb.


Cannelle Et Vanille said...

i want to travel to seattle so bad... beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cuz
I love Dale Chihuly's work. Have you been to The Bellagio in Vegas? There is an amazing Chihuly piece in the lobby. So cool to sit below it and look up :)
Can't wait to see you next week.

Love Cuz Lila

Nazarina A said...

Hi Charmaine,
I stumbled upon your site surfing pastry blogs and discovered this gem! Your creations are truly fantastical( Is there such a word?).
I admire your career change and you did the right thing by changing your day job!
We have just been on a road trip to the west coast and Washington State was one of them. I wish I had known about this glass wonder, oh well, time for us to plan another trip to Seattle.