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Persimmon Macchia with Navy Lip Wrap, 2018, 18 x 29 x 27"

Kaleidoscopic color

Inspired to use all 300 colors in his hotshop, Chihuly explores unexpected color combinations with the Macchia series. Chihuly adds brightly colored spots (Macchia is Italian for spot) for a speckled effect, and pushes the possibilities of scale to create pieces up to four feet in diameter.

Jade Macchia with Sun Yellow Lip Wrap, 2018, 18 x 29 x 26"

Fuchsia Macchia with Pale Red Lip Wrap, 2018, 20 x 30 x 26"

Early Macchia Trio, 2016

Sapphire Macchia with Bright Yellow Lip Wrap, 2018, 18 x 25 x 26"

Dandelion Macchia with Dark Teal Lip Wrap, 2000, 26 x 31 x 29"

Empire Green Pheasant Macchia Set with Crimson Lip Wraps, 2002, 11 x 27 x 16"


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Color rods, The Boathouse hotshop, Seattle, 2010

A never-ending color palette

Chihuly’s hotshop includes glass rods in hundreds of colors, allowing him to explore endless, wildly contrasting color combinations. While creating Macchia, Chihuly developed an approach that allows him to keep the inside and outside colors from melding—the creation of a white interior layer he calls “clouds.”

Macchia in process, The Boathouse hotshop, Seattle, 2006

Creating spots of color

A signature element of Chihuly’s Macchia is the fusing of colored glass chips (called jimmies or frit) onto the exterior layer to create a spotted, speckled effect. This gives Chihuly an opportunity to incorporate even more color into his pieces.

“I put one color on the inside, then sort of a translucent or opaque white in the middle, and then another color on the outside. I loved the…ones that seemed to make the least amount of sense, like the really crazy ones—purple and chartreuse.”


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