Category Archives: Washington

Glass Is the Most Magical of All Materials — Dale Chihuly

Sandra and I went on an outing to Lake Union/Queen Anne Hill in Seattle last week. One excellent stop was the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at Seattle Center. Didn’t think to lug my DSLR along but I grabbed a few shots with my iPhone. I have visited the Museum of Glass at the Tacoma Art Museum (see photo gallery at bottom of this page) but except for the experience of setting right behind the artists in the live Hot Shop, I think the Garden and Glass to be the more impressive exhibit.

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From beginning to end the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition balances on the extremes of what is possible in the artform of blown glass as well as expanding into the myriad ways of displaying it. Since the 1970s Chihuly has devoted himself to years of experimentation and through this dedication has succeeded in stretching the limits of glassworking. His creations are monuments to progress of the arts when pursued passionately and whole-heartedly.

 Eight large rooms compose the indoor exhibit and you can find high quality photographs and descriptions of each on the Chihuly Garden and Glass website.  There is also a Theater showing Chihuly’s hot shop process in action, interviews and a showcase of installations around the world. And of course the amazing Glasshouse and Garden ensures your experience ends with a “Wow!”

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Hot Shop at the Glass Museum: Tacoma, WA

The Sentinel

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The Wind-Swept Wheat

By Mary Ainge De Vere (“Madeline Bridges”)

Faint, faint and clear,
Faint as the music that in dreams we hear
Shaking the curtain-fold of sleep,
That shuts away
The world’s hoarse voice, the sights and sounds of day,
Her sorry joys, her phantoms false and fleet,—
So softly, softly stirs
The wind’s low murmur in the rippled wheat.

From west to east
The warm breath blows, the slender heads droop low
As if in prayer;
Again, more lightly tossed in merry play,
They bend and bow and sway
With measured beat,
But never rest,—through shadow and through sun
Goes on the tender rustle of the wheat.

Dreams more than sleep
Fall on the listening heart and lull its care;
Dead years send back
Some treasured, unforgotten tune.
Ah, long ago,
When sun and sky were sweet,
In happy noon,
We stood breast-high, mid waves of ripened grain,
And heard the wind make music in the wheat.

Not for to-day—
Not for this hour alone—the melody
So soft and ceaseless thrills the dreamer’s ear:
Of all that was and is, of all that yet shall be,
It holds a part.
Love, sorrow, longing, pain,
The restlessness that yearns,
The thirst that burns,
The bliss that like a fountain overflows,
The deep repose,
Good that we might have known, but shall not know,
The hope God took, the joy He made complete,—
Life’s chords all answer from the windswept wheat!

Each year I travel to the Palouse region of eastern Washington for a few days to photograph the wheat harvest. This photo is from a few years ago and was taken near Washtucna on Route 26. I’m already looking forward to another trip in July. You can see more of my photos from this region at http://robertsjohnj.smugmug.com/Galleries/Washington-Wheatlands/12908211_z444Kb

Virgule and Friends

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New stairs for an old building. Left untreated and unpainted in the Northwest weather they quickly take on the patina of the building itself. Fairly aggressive use of NIK Software’s Tonal Contrast filter helped exaggerate the details here. The shadows were purposely left dark to emphasize the alley location.

Two Kinds of People

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Two kinds of people no more I say.
Not the good or the bad, for it’s well understood,
The good are half bad, the bad are half good.

Not the happy or sad, for in the swift-flying years,
Bring each man his laughter, each man his tears.
Not the rich or the poor, for to count a man’s wealth,
You must know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s busy span,
Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.
No! the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, the people who lean.

Wherever you go you’ll find the world’s masses
Are ever divided into these two classes.
And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I mean,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of the overtaxed lifters who toiled down the road?
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear,
Your portion of worry and labor and care?