Master Glass Artist
Dale Chihuly: One of the problems in working with glass is that, because glass is so beautiful, and almost no matter what color it is, it's gorgeous, so no matter what you make, people are interested in it. So, in a funny way, you can get away with a lot, because just put the glass out there and people are going to be attracted to it. And the fact that it's so beautiful doesn't work for everything you're trying, for a certain type of thing -- statement you want to make, or concept you have -- glass might not work. Unless you're interested in beauty. Fortunately, that interests me a lot, the idea of making things that make people feel good and give a lot of joy to a lot of people. We talked earlier about the idea of working and not ever having anyone see or appreciate what you're making. And artists have worked, sometimes, their whole life that way, in total seclusion. I can't imagine that would be very fun. But for me, not long after I was able to make things that people were interested in seeing -- I was lucky it happened to me soon -- but the more I was able to make that interested people, the more I wanted to interest people. I was really, maybe to a fault, interested in being able to do exhibitions that would have a wide appeal. I like it when a lot of people enjoy what I'm doing. On the other hand, I am capable of making things that people don't like! But I like it better when they do like it. Or I like it better that -- eventually, what I'm making -- that they will like, and under some context it works. What I'm doing here, at the Academy, we're hanging six Chandeliers for the banquet, and these Chandeliers, which I started making four years ago, initially were not very appreciated, for whatever reason. In that case I didn't pay much attention to that, and within a couple of years, people started getting interested. And now, when they see them, they like them more. Part of that is just the familiarity of seeing something. You can't always expect people to like it the first time.
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