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Want a large glass of beer and fries? (MG part 2)

August 6th, 2004 · 1 Comment

Oh, I mistyped that.

How about a large glass beer and fries?


Last week the girls and I saw artist John Miller fashioning a french fry at the the Museum of Glass in Tacoma … He has also made enormous beer glasses, as shown in the screen above, and other oversized items from a diner.

We had only paid $3.50 to go to the neighboring Washington State History Museum, and when the Museum of Glass charged us $14, I wondered whether it was worth it. But I’m rarely in Tacoma, and I have been wanting to go for a while.

The galleries were smaller than I had imagined, adding to my disappointment. When a friend and I visited with our children, we didn’t even tour through half of the gallery due to signs cautioning that the so-titled extra virgin exhibit might not be appropriate for all visitors (which I interpreted as a subtle PG or R rating…I didn’t wander in myself to find out which one it was…)

I had thought that there would be lots of Chihuly work to see, but none was found inside the museum. His pieces all seemed to be installed outside as a public gift.

However the Hot Shop turned out to be worth every penny we paid. Watching Guest Artist John Miller and his crew form a french fry from glowing glass fascinated the girls. His oversized-diner-themed art seemed too silly to take seriously. A large orange juice and a sunny-side up egg? A big glass glass of beer and crinkled fries? A hamburger of glass?

But the frivolity of it seemed fun. Soon I was smiling and staring along with my daughters. Even Elisabeth, age 1, enjoyed seeing the men at work. It was fascinating to see the french fry find shape and color while we watched.

Yet it was warm enough inside the Hot Shop to make one want to wish for a huge glass of beer or something cool to drink….

For those who want to try creating a piece of art from the comfort of a computer chair, the Museum of Glass has a virtual Hot Shop….the first time I tried it, I broke my piece!

The museum site also has a glossary with glass-blowing terms.

Also here is a quote from John Miller describing his Blue Plate Special exhibit:

“I was searching for something I really wanted to make. Objects are a big part of our lives, and all the forms, shapes, and colors are a giant part of the culture of this country. Yet you overlook it because it is an everyday object that you know you need …salt, coffee, food. I wanted to create art that is fun, but also makes you look at these objects in a new way.”

A picture of his fries with ketchup.



Tags: culture

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Julie Leung: Seedlings & Sprouts // Aug 6, 2004 at 8:05 am

    A sea of Chihuly : Museum of Glass part 1

    Thanks to Anita Rowland’s suggestion in a comment on a previous post I wrote, the girls and I visited the Museum of Glass in Tacoma last week. While there I also thought of Lenn Pryor and my brother, glass-blowers…