Glass Artist Extraordinaire Dale Chihuly Changes Up His Style


“This year has brought unimaginable challenges, making it more important than ever to take time to support each other and to search for solace and beauty in our daily lives,” says glass artist extraordinaire Dale Chihuly, who, even at 78, continues to find fresh sources of inspiration. His latest collection, “Chihuly Merletto,” named after the Venetian cane-working technique of merletto, the Italian word for “lace”—debuted at Seattle’s Traver Gallery in the spring and will appear in exhibitions at botanical gardens and museums throughout 2021. Pieces are currently for sale at Chihuly Studio in Seattle. The artist shared the details of his latest tour de force with Luxe.

black red glass

drawing of glass

molding glass

What brought about “Chihuly Merletto?” I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself and my team, and I just happened to notice a similar quality between merletto and drawings that I made years ago with bunches of pencils clutched in my hand. I had never tried the technique, which was developed in Venice in the 15th century, but I had often admired it.

Why is your method different from the Venetian one? The traditional Venetian technique of merletto is intricate, symmetrical and meticulous in its representation of lace. My work retains this delicate beauty of the lace but adds movement, creating the patterns within sloping, dynamic basket forms. The final effect is reminiscent of lace blowing in the wind.