Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Chihuly's lawsuit situation

The Stranger | Seattle | Features | Feature | Glass Houses

The link goes to a long and thoughtful article about the status of Chihuly vis-a-vis Chihuly, Inc., and the distinctions between artists, artisans, and so forth. Dale Chihuly doesn't blow glass, but has 150 employees that produce his work and manage the studio business (designers, PR, architects, packers, photographers, you name it). On the one hand, Rubens had the same kind of enterprise going, and nobody questions his role as the Artist. On the other hand, what is the status of Chihuly's senior glassblowers, whose artistry and skill infuse Chihuly's designs with life? What happens when one of his glassblowers goes to another company and starts making things that look "Chihuly-ish"? This is the contention of the lawsuit - that the rogue glassblower is knocking off Chihuly - but then again, glass blowers have been knocking off Chihuly for twenty years or more. It's an interesting read from Chihuly's hometown newspaper.

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