Monday, May 15, 2017, Seattle (in the rain)

Sunday was not nice in Port Orford. We hustled on to get to Tacoma, Washington, stopping at outlet malls on the way. We’re looking for a last year’s Eddie Bauer down jacket. We’ve each got one, but Jacqueline would like another.

After some effort at the Best Western Tacoma Dome, which I stayed a few years ago for about eight nights, found our reservation. I’d made it that morning by phone, since I was running late. In spite of my spelling my name twice, I was looked under as Jaylor. Taylor’s one of the 10 most common names in English, but never mind.

It was, of course, dark and cold and raining.We walked down to the public transportation office and got passes for the bus. The next one was five minutes later, so we hopped on. Again, I was really glad to leave the driving to them…lots of traffic, though it kept moving.

We got out and headed for Pike Place, which — of course — I’d forgotten the exact location of.

Seattle building

Seattle building

Ivy-covered building in Seattle

Ivy-covered building in Seattle

Not Paris! It's Seattle, in the rain

Not Paris! It’s Seattle, in the rain

We got there eventually, as the place was closing down. The large white area of the photo is the sky I didn’t crop — it was really overcast.

Sign for Public Market Center, Seattle

Sign for Public Market Center, Seattle

Fresh fish at the fish shop in Seattle

Fresh fish at the fish shop in Seattle

Ferris wheel near the Public Market Center in Seattle

Ferris wheel near the Public Market Center in Seattle

Then it was back on the bus and back to Tacoma and some dinner in the hotel. We managed to see no glass whatsoever in the heart of glass country.

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Day 9 – Home again

Saturday, August 9, 2014: All the SEATAC hotels seemed to be booked for last night, but Ramada had a room and airport transportation, so that’s where I landed.
At 4 a.m. a giant alarm went off, with flashing red lights. I stumbled up to get dressed, thinking it was a fire alarm. At some point I realized it was the hotel alarm clock plus, apparently, a wake-up call. I had set my own alarm for 7, so I was less than pleased to be awakened like this.

Breakfast was extra, so I decided to grab something at the airport. Cost was more or less reasonable, especially after the clerk gave me the AAA rate when I checked out (I let him know about the unwanted wake-up call. When I made the reservation, I was told that there were no more rooms at this rate…).

I was glad I’d gotten to the airport quite a bit early. Alaska Air at SEATAC was a zoo, reminiscent of Southwest Airlines in Phoenix (where the cousin of a friend missed her flight because of the ridiculously long lines). At SEATAC you check in / drop luggage in the main terminal, then ride a train to the gate. This all takes a little time, especially if the lines are long, people are confused about what’s going on and some printers aren’t working.

On the way to the gate, I found some more glass, huge, HUGE installations:

Window at SEATAC
Window in blues at SEATAC
Back in Tucson, it was just hot. I ran some errands late in the afternoon — my car said it was 100 degrees at 5:45 p.m.

Day 6 – Seattle / Tacoma

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 — Iris had to go back to work. ILona came to the hotel and, for our adventure, we took the bus into Seattle. This time we got out near Union Station, saw a little of the edge of the International District and went looking for galleries.

The first we found was Foster/White. We had a long chat with one of the curators, who explained what the gallery looks for in its artists. She had some interesting glass pieces. Unfortunately, my photo does not do justice to the David Schwarz piece, blown, etched, sand blasted…

David Schwarz glass piece

Then we were in a local gallery — interesting work, but maybe not for ILona.

We wandered through town and ended up in a little park / plaza, with a farmers’ market, some large wood sculptures and a huge, ivy-covered building. We had lunch in a little cafe, trying a local amber red beer.

Farmers market in Seattle
Totem pole in park
Ivy-covered building - Seattle

After lunch I dragged ILona along to the Traver Gallery, 110 Union Street. This had been closed Monday. The gallery was in the midst of getting a show ready to open the next day (Thursday). We were invited to the opening (and I plan to go).

Among the pieces, the gallery has Dante Marioni:

Dante Marioni

Lino Tagliapietra:

600 Lino Tagliapietra - Wm Traver Gallery
Dale Chihuly:
Dale Chihuly
Carmen Vetter (kiln-formed glass):

Carmen Vetter
along with others. Those were the pieces that made the biggest impression. The show will be for a young Danish artist, Tobias Møhl, but he was still figuring out his installation.

Then we went around the corner to the Vetri Gallery, also owned by William Traver. Several of the pieces had been changed since Monday. I liked the flowers by Mikey Cozza:

Mikey Cozza at Vetri
And this “folded” kiln-formed piece by Karen Mahardy was pretty cool:

Karen Mahardy
Then it was the bus back to Tacoma.

ILona went home, and I went to the theater district in Tacoma to look around some more. I found this cool fish fountain:

Fish fountain, Tacoma
The Hotel Murano has quite a bit of glass around it:

Glass in front of Hotel Murano, Tacoma
The hotel itself has interesting geometric shapes…

Hotel Murano, Tacoma
My tour ended back at Ammar’s for another red beer, this by Elysian Brewery, with the special name “The Mens Room”, and some delicious Greek fries and hummus.

Tacoma, Day 2 – and 2 museums

After breakfast, I got instructions and set off for the Tacoma Art Museum. It’s conveniently located on the Tacoma Link line, a modern streetcar (just like we inaugurated last weekend in Tucson — the difference is, the Tacoma version is still free. Thinking about the controversy in Tucson, I don’t even want to think about this one, which has only six stops.)
The museum had a room full of Chihuly pieces:

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600 Chihuly - red picolo Venetian -8
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The museum had a nice exhibit of artists who either came from the Washington area or had some connection to the Northwest as well as a selection of print artists. A couple more glass artists were in these groups:
Dominick Labino:
600 NW - Dominick Labino - Volcanic
and MalPina Chan:

600 Ink - MalPina Chan - Gui Shu - Ghost Book = printed+fused glass

Then it was off to the Museum of Glass, across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, of course. The glass is encased in the “ceiling” of the bridge:
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Then there’s the Venetian Wall, also of Chihuly. This is a wall with three or four large pieces stacked over one another. Here’s an example:
600 Venetian wall = 11
On to the Museum of Glass
600 Part of the Museum of Glass1
Once in the Museum of Glass, I expected lots and lots of glass. That’s not exactly what I found. A glass artist was giving a demonstration of blowing, but it was a pretty simple piece. Sorry, I’ve been watching the Corning Museum of Glass live streams on Wednesday mornings, so I’m spoiled in this regard.
The Museum of Glass had an exhibit of Irish glass, by Roisin de Buitléar and several artists from Waterford, which closed in 2009. A few of the pieces:

Soft Rain

Soft Rain, cast blown glass, inclusion copper wheel engraved


And one more:
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The museum offered a pop art exhibit by artists Jeremy Bert and Jen Elek, with movable letter:
Pop Art by Jeremy Bert and Jen Elek

Pop Art by Jeremy Bert and Jen Elek


And some wall-mounted letters:
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We had more Chihuly, with his Irish cylinders:
Chihuly Irish cylinders

Chihuly Irish cylinders


The staff at the museum realized the drawings of several children, resulting in some fanciful pieces, such as the “Donut Ninja”:
Donut Ninja

Donut Ninja


The museum shop had some interesting pieces, but I didn’t take any photos. And last, but not least, part of the fountain outside:
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I then went off to lunch at the Swiss Pub & Restaurant, no longer in Swiss hands but still with several of the coats of arms for the various cantons. It also offers Chihuly pieces over the bar.

August in Tacoma, Washington

After an uneventful flight on Alaska Airlines — at humane times, even — I arrived in Tacoma, Washington.
The first art pieces I saw were ceramic. I would have called them “primitive”. I was hoping for GLASS.
As I went to find the shuttle, I wasn’t disappointed. I saw a glass case with what appeared to be bones and glass antlers.

Glass antlers, part of the William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

Glass antlers, part of the William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

Upon closer inspection, I realized there was more glass in the installation:

Part of installation by William Morris at SEATAC Airport.

Part of installation by William Morris at SEATAC Airport.

Skull in William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

Skull in William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

Then I saw the label for the piece:

Sign for William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

Sign for William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

When I looked more closely, I realized the “bones” and the whole installation were glass. William Morris is, after all, one of the best known contemporary glass artists in the U.S./world.

William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

William Morris installation at SEATAC Airport.

Last, but not least, a look out of my hotel window:

Tacoma skyline at night

Tacoma skyline at night