Chihuly has experimented with neon in his art installations since he was a student in the late 1960s. He has continued to work with the medium throughout his career. In 1993, he began the Tumbleweeds, in which neon tubes are massed together to form illuminated bundles of light and color.
Consisting of linear, factory-made tubes that are bent into curvilinear forms when heated, Tumbleweeds are composed as individual sculptures or grouped together in larger installations.
Blue Neon Tumbleweed (detail), 2010, 72 x 83 x 82″