Museum of Glass

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Where I stayed
Travelodge Sea-Tac Airport North Seattle
Read my review - 2/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, August 21, 2011

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Before I left the hotel in the morning I got a call from a friend who lives in Seattle.  We had originally planned on getting together while I was here but yesterday I got an e-mail from him saying he was going to go to Mt. Rainier to take some pictures while the weather was so clear.  It turns out he expected to be back early enough that we could get together in the afternoon.

My plan was to go to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.  I could still do that, just with a little shorter schedule.  I headed for Tacoma.

The Museum of Glass is in an unusual looking building along the waterfront.  It turns out the large cone at one end of the building is designed to vent heat from the kilns they use for glassblowing demonstrations.  The museum has a visiting artist program as well as an in-house team of glassblowers.  I decided I'd check out the exhibits before going to watch a demonstration.

The museum has no permanent collection.  There are four rooms of exhibits and they're all temporary.  The first room contained pieces made by visiting artists while they were here.  The second room contained pieces designed by children and then fabricated by the in-house team.  The third room contained an exhibit of Mildred Howard's work called Parenthetically Speaking: It's Only a Figure of Speech that consisted of glass punctuation marks.  The fourth room contained three pieces that were jointly made by Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman.  In addition to the four rooms there was a photography exhibit  in a long hallway with pictures of the museum by Peter Serko.

There's a bridge called the Chihuly Bridge of Glass over the busy street in front of the museum.  One end of the bridge connects to the roof of the museum.  I went up to the roof to check it out.  Three sections of the bridge contain glass.  The one closest to the museum has a bunch of blown glass pieces between two layers of plastic above the walkway.  The middle section has two tall towers of glass blocks that are intended to look like blocks of ice.  The section furthest from the museum has glass pieces in sort of a display case that runs along the side of the walkway.

I then went and watched some of the glass blowing demonstrations.  They do a very good job.  They're the best demonstrations I've seen.  There were four or five people working with glass, a visiting artist who designed the pieces being made and an announcer who explained what was being done.

I drove back to my hotel to meet my friend.  He then took me to some of his favorite photography locations around the city.  We stopped in Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle, for dinner.  It's an interesting neighborhood.  Fremont is sometimes known as "The People's Republic of Fremont" as well as "The Center of the Universe."  The landmarks in town include a statue of Lenin brought from Slovakia and a missile on the side of a building.

After dinner we visited another good photography location before returning to my hotel.
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