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June 5 Episode: Stage is set, actors arriving.

An e-mail from Jennifer Lewis details the composition of the arriving crew. In addition to Chihuly and Parks, we are:

Arrive June 2: Allen Vinup, Dave Schoales

Arrive June 4: Terry Rishel, Theresa Rishel, Peter West

Arrive June 8: Patsy Wooten, Roger Bransteitter, Jeff Gerber, Joel Attaway, Robin Coomer, DJ Palin, John              DeSchepper, Ryan Smith, Jennifer Lewis

Arrive June 9: John Landon

Arrive June 10: Steve Cochran

Arrive June 11: Bill Warmus

Arrive June 11: Noelle Higgins

Arrive June 12: Barry Rosen

Arrive June 18: Tom Lind

Arrive June 19: Kai Bergman

Arrive June 20: Mark McDonnell,  Koji Matono

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Chihuly at the Citadel


May 7: Big Fax arrives


Friday afternoon: An 18 page fax arrives from Dale, illustrating the progress of the project. I caption a few excerpts with his own words:


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Above: Shipping containers making their way to Jerusalem

"Ten 40 foot containers...coming from the USA, France, Finland, Czech Republic and Japan, about 10,000 pieces in all!"


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Above: "What a beautiful city. What can I do?" One plan: "We'll have to get mountain climbers from Israel or elsewhere to scale the Citadel walls both outside and inside to put flowers--thousands of them--coming out of everywhere."


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Above: Moon Ball. I like the faces on the visitors.


May 4: Images of the Citadel

Photographs of the Citadel where Chihuly and team will install the work have arrived by e-mail. Mark McDonnell has completed the Jerusalem page on the Chihuly web site at: http://www.chihuly.com/jerusalem/jerusalem.html


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The courtyard at dusk (above) and courtyard and path to herb garden (below)

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April 23: Federal Express delivers Crystal Mountain

Federal Express arrived today with a package of slides from Ken Clark (photos by Tom Lind, Donna Goetsch and others)of the mockup of the Crystal Mountain that will be built in Jerusalem. Viewing these through my hand held slide viewer (as you can see just below) I see a metal armature with what appear to be large chunks of glass attached (center image). An inside view looking straight up is at right, a portion of the outside at left. I guess the height to be 25-30 feet.


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April 22: Worldwide Search for Glass

The project has become so big, demanding so much glass, that Chihuly has begun to scour other installations, creating a recall of components to Jerusalem. Messages sent from Hiroshima or Seattle or The Czech Republic are flowing into voice mail about Chihuly chandeliers and other components that could be taken apart and shipped to the Citadel. In the midst of these voices, I hear Charlie Parriott reporting about ice molding processes: Chihuly wants 62" diameter solid spheres of ice cast for an installation near the Dead Sea. Each sphere will weigh more than my car, but how to "eject" the ice from the mold seems to be a problem.


April 18: 66 foot tower, 33 foot mountain, 12 page fax

Dale has returned from Jerusalem and details of the project are now in sharper focus. He plans a 66 foot high tower of glass (see fax below) as well as a 33 foot tall crystal mountain.

This shift in scale means more people on the team (maybe 30) and an earlier date for the start of construction (second week in June?). A giant crane will be needed to lift the containers of glass over the walls of the citadel. A page from Dale's fax about the glass tower is just below (written on the letterhead of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, written enroute to NYC at 37,000 feet, faxed from the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan).

April 8: Edmund Wilson and Mountaineering with glass

Dale travels to Jerusalem April 12-14 to survey the site for the installations and perhaps to locate a glassblowing studio in or near the city where he could make some work. I hear on voice mail that there are problems as to how to climb the walls of the citadel to install the "crystals" -- the mountaineering equipment originally planned may not work.

Reading Edmund Wilson's striking essay "Jerusalem the Golden," I especially note the ending. After a long list of all the individuals and nations that have passed through the city he writes:

"One can hardly grasp all these vicissitudes--the peoples and nations and causes, the policies and personalities. Their history becomes unimaginable, and they all seem to recompose, like the sequence of colors of the spectrum, in the tranquil luminous sky."

I imagine the three glass towers Chihuly is contemplating as embodying all these colors in a tranquil spectacle.


April 1, 1999: First fax sketches for a project



On my desk the morning of April 1, 1999

Click on thumbnail images to enlarge

Faxes from Dale about the project (the fax of the Citadel at lower right has Dale's notations that read in part "50 foot tower of crystal" and "crystal chunks hanging off wall"); Kathleen Kenyon's book "Jerusalem: Excavating 3000 years of History" and "Skyline Jerusalem" by Tal and Haramati.


Wednesday March 31

Spoke with the artist Paul Stankard about the project. He reminded me that beauty is heavenly and that the soul responds to beauty and that energizes the body. That's a nice link between heaven and earth!

Tuesday March 30, 1999 at noon: A possible scheme

Spoke with Mark McDonnell today about the Jerusalem project. We decided to try a "down and dirty" site for instant web dispatches, linked to the more elegant main web site for the project.


On voice mail over the last few days, the project seems to be coming into focus. Dale plans to erect three towers that will emerge from the ground of the Citadel and return into the archaeological terrain.


In addition, there will be fragments from the Polomar project attached to the walls. A second site, at the Dead Sea, is planned for the future, with cast balls of ice of substantial scale.



Below: A detail of that fax from Dale


For more information about Chihuly, visit www.chihuly.com