—Robert Hobbs, Dale Chihuly: Objets de Verre, 1986
Two defining characteristics of Dale Chihuly’s Macchia series are the contrasting interior and exterior colors and the “spots” created by colored-glass frit, or “jimmies.” To achieve these qualities, the interior color of the sculpture is applied to the molten clear-glass bubble. The bubble is then rolled over chunks of white glass, which keep the interior and exterior colors separate and provide a clean, white canvas on which to apply more color in the form of mineralized, organic pigments such as glass powder, dust, and frit. These colors then stretch and striate under the ministrations of breath, heat, and gravity to become vessels pulsing with energy and free-form abandon.
Chihuly’s passion for color is born out of his mother Viola’s extensive gardens and glorious sunsets over Puget Sound. The 2021 Viola Plum Macchia is a landscape of abundant colors with exterior spots and striations of purple, red, blue, and yellow yielding to an interior of deep plum. A low-profile form encourages views of the center, where the exterior colors converge in a kaleidoscopic manner. A steely blue lip wrap complements both the interior and exterior palettes.