Saturday, August 04, 2007

Tourists in Tacoma part 1: The Bridge and the Hot Spot

Ok, so all y'all remember that Wed. was Papa Dude's 53rd birthday, right? Well, he had to travel that day and didn't get home till 9 pm, so we didn't get to do our usual "no work or school on a birthday" celebration. Instead, we did it today. After sleeping in till almost 10:00 am (I was up till after 3, so this was heaven), we headed out today for downtown Tacoma to play tourist. We have never been there before, and they have really been trying to fancify downtown Tacoma up by putting in 3 museums, and lots of art, etc.

We started our tour on this great walking bridge of glass. There are these tall glass sculptures at the beginning. Big chunks of beautiful blue glass. I found that even though it wasn't my birthday, I got a great gift today- the gift of inspiration- so many colors, shapes, textures to see! I could kick myself for not bringing a sketchbook, but it was fun to play with my little camera.

And a close-up. What a yummy shade of blue.
As you walk along the bridge, you come to this covered area, where there are all these boxes along one side. I took lots of pictures here, of individual sculptures, but will just show a few with us in them. Here is the Fine Young Man.
And the Girl. That is a giant pear behind her. Look at those shapes and colors!
Here is the Dude, and a better shot of the pear.

And me, in my sun hat in front of a giant flower. I could have stood here and taken pictures or drawn every single one of these amazing pieces. This kind of art stirs and feeds my soul.

Ok, in another section of the walking bridge, this is what you see if you look up! Oh my goodness gracious! Talk about sensory overload! Is this not just beautifully amazing!

This amazing building called "The Hot Spot" and is part of the Tacoma Museum of Glass. The Hot Spot is where the artists work the glass. Dale Chihuly started this place, and it is amazing! You can click to make any of these pictures bigger- that is my family at the bottom of this picture.

This is the inside of the Hot Spot, looking up to the ceiling. This is an ingenious design, allowing it to stay relatively cool inside.
This is the only half-way decent photo I got of the artist working. My old camera just couldn't get a good shot at all in here, but you can see the furnaces and get an idea of the space. There are seats around the perimeter so the visitors can watch the glass-blowers work. There is a balcony above and all around so you can watch from above, and there is a large video screen as well so if you are farther away, you can watch on it. We spent hours here, watching a visiting artist from New York supervising the glass team as they were making paper wasps nests our of glass. It was an itricate process- 2 hours from start to finish. The whole family was mesmerized- other visitors came and went, but we watched from start to finish- amazing!

In this photo, the man on the far left in the striped shirt is Marc Swanson, the visiting artist I mentioned above. Here is a link to a blog where you can read about his art and his week here at the MOG.
In the museum there is also a studio, where kids and grownups can play and get their creative juices flowing. Papa and I worked together to make a kalidascope, while the kids designed funky pictures. If their picture is chosen, the glass team with make it and display it in the museum.

The galleries were wonderful, but didn't allow photography, so no pictures for you. But it was wonderful. There is also a movie theatre, where we watched three features, including a cartoon movie about the history of glass. Dumbed down, but cute.

Stay tuned for part 2!


amy@thefoilhat said...

Oooo I love your Tacoma pictures. That museum is so incredible. Did they still have the creepy exhibit?

Heather K. said...

Amazing and beatiful.

Pamela said...

Ah, how great is that? I was wondering what y'all were doing for your annual event.

Remember the year you took the train south and rode an elephant?

The year you went on a big sailing ship?

Riding the ferry?

I always enjoy the tales of your adventures. Such memories you are making for yourselves, and those of us that have the privilege of listening and observing to the recollections! What a fun treat:)

Thanks for sharing,