Blow into your iPhone to create virtual glasswork: Museum unveils Chihuly app

Now, you too can be a glassblowing artist in the style of Seattle master Dale Chihuly — sans the heat, molten glass and blowpipe. In order to be a glass artist in this new virtual realm, all you need is an iPhone and a steady breath.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Martin Agency today rolled out a new iOS app which allows users to tap their inner Chihuly, The cool thing about the app is that users can actually shape virtual glass into pieces of artwork by blowing into the iPhone or iPad’s microphone. A steady breath can add new dimensions, while users also can choose from a variety of shapes and colors. (I gave it a try, but my creation was pretty lame).

Users can choose from one of Chihuly’s unique styles in order to get started: Fiori, Macchia and Seaforms. Then, of course, users of the app can post their virtual creations to the museum’s Web site or Twitter or Facebook, with the museum bluntly saying that the app is designed to attract a younger demographic who might not be as familiar with the artist.

The free app, simply dubbed Chihuly and touted as the first-ever glassblowing iPhone app, is being rolled out in conjunction with the The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Chihuly exhibit, which runs through February 10th.

In addition to making your own virtual creations, the app includes a timeline of Chihuly’s life and offers a number of choice quotes from the artist.

Dale Chihuly; Wikipedia Photo

“I hope using this app to ‘blow’ your own work of art excites you as much as blowing my first bubble of glass excited me,” he says.

A University of Washington grad, Chihuly is one of the region’s better known artists.

“Chihuly has done for glass art what Fabergé did for decorative art — push the boundaries of a medium beyond what people thought possible,” said Joe Alexander, chief creative officer of The Martin Agency. “We thought mobile technology was a perfect way to bring his achievement to life for people outside the museum’s traditional audience.”