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Niijima Floats

Chihuly first filled boats with glass in Nuutajärvi , Finland , during the Chihuly Over Venice project in 1995. On the tiny island of Niijima , Japan , Osamu and Yumiko Noda, former students at Pilchuck, created a glass school perched on a cliff looking out to sea. It was there in 1991 that Chihuly started the Niijima Floats series. Named for both the island and the traditional Japanese fishing floats, his Floats reminded him of the oceans and the ocean's currents.

'I've never done anything like the Floats. They are probably the most monumental-looking, since there's no reminiscence of a container shape. Just because they are so big, the Floats are technically, or let's say physically, the most difficult things that we have ever done. Even though a sphere or a ball is about the easiest form you can make in glass, when you get to this scale, up to forty inches in diameter, it becomes extremely difficult.' Dale Chihuly.

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