Dale Chihuly Irish Cylinders

DALE CHIHULY Irish Cylinders

Among the earliest series of Dale Chihuly's oeuvre are the little-known legendary Irish Cylinders, created in 1975 at the Rhode Island School of Design, begun on St. Patrick's Day and completed over Thanksgiving weekend. The 44 vessels, loosely categorized as St. Patrick's Day Cylinders, Irish Cylinders, and the Ulysses Cylinders, were inspired by James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses.

Minty and milky, the Irish Cylinders feature glass-drawing pick-up techniques similar to Chihuly's more abstract Blanket Cylinders. The earliest of the series feature shamrocks, Irish flags, mapping diagrams of cairns and burial mounds, and the Irish landscape. Later cylinders explore themes pertinent to a recounting of occurrences from a single day in Dublin as described in Ulysses:  the protagonist, Leopold Bloom; his wife's suitor, Blazes Boylan; the date "Thursday, June 16, 1904." Blown entirely by Chihuly, the drawings on the Irish Cylinders were made by Kate Elliott, Seaver Leslie, and Flora C. Mace.

Number of works in the exhibition:
44 vessels by Dale Chihuly, made in 1975, plus ancillary Irish cylinders and drawings made by Chihuly Studio (2012). Also included is a documentary collection that speaks to Chihuly's early innovations in the use of glass cane drawing in surface application.

Space requirement:
500 — 1,000 square feet