The Vase

While in Seattle for meetings some time ago, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the blown glass creations on display in the convention center. Their delicacy, intricate forms, curves and vibrant colors astounded me. The display exemplified a small part of the creative work by artist Dale Chihuly.

During meeting breaks (and possibly during a meeting…or two) I meandered down the street to Pike Place Market. The outdoor shops bustled with activity in the warm summer air. Street performers sang, danced, tied balloons and entertained the masses of people winding in unison like a snake through the tight spaces. The workers at the World Famous Fish Market engaged the crowd by throwing their catch of the day across the market space with their chant of “Heyyyyy…..YO!” Vendors tended to their colorful wares of hand-made jewelry, musical instruments and clothing. But the tables that drew me in the most were those with blown glass. The presence of Chihuly’s work in the city has inspired many others.

I stopped and looked at a number of tables with blown glass. Similarities were easy to spot, but with closer inspection some variation in the pieces from each artist could be appreciated. I respected the accomplishment represented there for the artists, and my eyes drank in the beauty of color and shape on display. I wished to bring a piece home as a symbol of the experience but the price tags told me I best leave with an image on my SD card instead.

At one particular table the young woman who had crafted the glass bowls engaged me in conversation. Her excitement over her work captivated me. She explained how she made this one and that one. And how she found the glass for another. And how she likes to use each variation of shape and style in her home. Her face shone with pride. She never tried to sell me anything. She just loved her work. And every Friday night I light a candle in the vase I purchased from her.

I know she appreciated my purchase. And I’m certain she found pleasure in sharing her love for her work with a passer-by. But I imagine there are a few people in her life, the ones she cares most about, with whom she finds greater pleasure in showing her newest design or color combination. Kudos from strangers are nice. But appreciation from a chosen few for how each piece represents something of her and how it is an expression of who she is must certainly be savored by her. The few who don’t have a shallow “Oh you do nice work,” but those who know her well enough to say, “Your attention to detail is striking.” or “Green always is your favorite color, isn’t it?” or “The curve on the lip of that vase matches the curve of your smile.” Those must be the comments she treasures most.

I think of God this morning as I write- the master Creator. How well do we know Him and how much attention do we pay to what He’s made? What does His creation tell us about Him? Have we told Him about it lately? Each one of us is special to Him. I’m certain He would treasure our comments.

Photo credits: Dale Chihuly

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3 Comments

  1. So pretty. LOVE the colors.

    Reply
  2. The young woman put a lot of herself into her work, and you put a lot of yourself into this post. Thank you! I love Dale Chihuly’s work. A few years back his work was on display (also lit up at night) at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, it was beautiful.

    Reply
    • Joy, I have never seen his whole display. It was just a few pieces. I can’t even imagine how beautiful that must have been lit up at night.

      Reply

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