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Float Boat

Chihuly first filled boats with glass in Nuutajärvi, Finland, during the 1995 Chihuly Over Venice project. After several days of glassblowing, Chihuly started tossing glass forms into the Nuutajoki river to see how they would look in the environment. As the glass floated downstream it was retrieved in wooden boats by local teenagers, inspiring Chihuly to begin massing various forms in wooden boats, creating what would become the Boat series.

The forms featured in this Boat are referred to as Niijima Floats and are named after the island of Niijima in Tokyo Bay and for the small fishing floats Chihuly found as a child on the shores of the Puget Sound. These colorful spheres vary in size and can be as large as 40 inches in diameter, some of the largest forms currently being hand-blown.

Float Boat (detail), 2007 3 x 12 x 4½’