Dale Chihuly

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Dale Chihuly (born September 20, 1941, in Tacoma, Washington, United States) is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur.



Chihuly graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington. Supported by his mother, after his brother, George, died in 1957 at a flight-training accident in Florida and his father's death of a heart attack a year later, he enrolled at the College of the Puget Sound in 1959. A year later, he transferred to the University of Washington at Seattle, where in 1965 he received a bachelor of arts degree in interior design.[1]

In 1967, he received a Master of Science in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin–Madison,[1] where he studied under Harvey Littleton. In 1968, he studied glass in Venice on a Fulbright Fellowship and received a Master of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design.[1] In 1971, with the support of John Hauberg and Anne Gould Hauberg, Chihuly founded the Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Washington.[2]

In 1976, while Chihuly was in England, he was involved in a head-on car accident during which he flew through the windshield.[1][3] His face was severely cut by glass and he was blinded in his left eye. After recovering, he continued to blow glass until he dislocated his shoulder in a 1979 bodysurfing accident.[3] No longer able to hold the glass blowing pipe, he hired others to do the work; Chihuly explained the change in a 2006 interview, saying "Once I stepped back, I liked the view" and pointing out that it allowed him to see the work from more perspectives and enabled him to anticipate problems faster.[1] Chihuly describes his role as "more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor."[1] San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Erin Glass wrote that she, "wonders at the vision of not just the artist Chihuly, but the wildly successful entrepreneur Chihuly whose estimated sales by 2004 was reported by The Seattle Times as $29 million."[4]

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