Dale Chihuly Macchia


"The Macchia series began with my waking up one day wanting to use all 300 of the colors in the hot shop. I started by making up a color chart with one color for the interior, another color for the exterior, and a contrasting color for the lip wrap, along with various jimmies and dusts of pigment between the gathers of glass. Throughout the blowing process, colors were added, layer upon layer. Each piece was another experiment. When we unloaded the ovens in the morning, there was the rush of seeing something I had never seen before. Like much of my work, the series inspired itself. The unbelievable combinations of color—that was the driving force."
     Dale Chihuly
     Chihuly alla Macchia from the George R. Stroemple Collection

In the summer of 1981, Dale Chihuly began an ongoing series he calls the Macchia (from the Italian word for spotted or stained). The title Macchia was suggested by Chihuly's close friend Italo Scanga, not only because of the vessels' dappled surfaces, but "macchia" also suggests the initial idea originating in the mind of an artist that eventually becomes a sketch for a more fully realized work. The series evolved out of Chihuly's earlier Seaforms, but focused on the artist's insatiable obsession with capturing the nearly inexhaustible possibilities for combining colors within the bell-shape of molten glass. The earliest Macchia in the Stroemple Collection were blown by William Morris as head gaffer in 1981, and trace the very first small, oddly shaped experimental works through the most flamboyant and exuberantly hued vessels of this series created over the following five or six years.

Number of works in the exhibition:
Approximately 81 Macchia and 20 drawings. Object list can be adapted to borrowing venue's space requirements.

Space requirement:
500 — 1,500 square feet (depending upon installation)

Accompanying the exhibition is the book, Chihuly alla Macchia from the George R. Stroemple Collection, a 54-page hardcover book with more than 100 photographs of Macchia vessels, details, and drawings. Essay by Robert Hobbs.