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Nile Green Persian Set with Yellow Lip Wraps, 2000, 12 x 23 x 24"

Poetic, experimental forms

Featured in many of Chihuly’s most dramatic installations, Persians are an exploration of form, shape and color—a celebration of wild asymmetry and swirling pattern. They have an ancient sensibility, and for Chihuly, conjure notions of Venice, and the Near and Far East.

Azure Mist Persian Set with Ebony Lip Wraps, 2016, 10 x 24 x 20"

Mineral Yellow Persian Set with Cobalt Lip Wraps, 2016, 10 x 22 x 19"

Orange Ice Persian Set with Ebony Lip Wraps, 2015, 11 x 19 x 13"

Cardinal Persian Set with Coal Lip Wraps, 2016, 13 x 24 x 24"

White and Neon Green Persian Set, 2014, 9 x 23 x 15"


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Elemental Chihuly

Persians have become an essential component of Chihuly’s increasingly dramatic installations. They are mounted onto walls, windows and ceilings—even placed along the bottom of Chihuly’s swimming pool. As seen in this sketch, they are the stars of his permanent installation at Tacoma’s Union Station.

Union Station Drawing, 1993, 22 x 30"

Monarch Window, 1994, 22 x 40 x 3', Union Station, Tacoma, Washington

Molten glass shaped by optic mold, The Boathouse hotshop, Seattle, 1995

Spellbinding patterns

The use of ribbed optic molds is essential to the aesthetic of Persians. Molten glass, ringed by linear wraps, is plunged into these molds to create repetitive patterns. When blown out, the bubbles are transformed into swirling, irregularly shaped rondels with fascinating detail.

“The Persians started out as a search for forms. We worked for a year on doing only experimental Persians....we made at least a thousand or more.”


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