The Seattle Glass Story

Though glass has ancient traditions in Europe, it’s a relatively young art form in the United States.  About 60 years ago, factory facilities were producing glass works, but the idea of “glass art” didn’t exist. In 1962, the first glass program in America brought the idea of studio glass to fruition, marking a fundamental shift in glassblowing in America. The Studio Glass movement put greater emphasis on the artist as designer and maker and encouraged the creation of one-of-a-kind objects.

Since those beginnings, interest and experimentation with glass art has flourished, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, a recent study led by the Glass Art Society found the Pacific Northwest is the leading regional hub for glass art in the United States. More than 700 glass artists, from emerging artists to master glassmakers, live in Washington. Pilchuck Glass School, an internationally renowned center for glass art education, is thriving here. More than 100 glass art studios made their home in our region.


Organized by Chihuly Garden and Glass and Visit Seattle, each October Refract brings together hundreds of arts organizations and artists to host events throughout the region. Enjoy live demos, art parties, tours, open studios, gallery shows, museum exhibitions and more.

Come discover where glass art is created with obsessive passion, beauty, and who-knows-what’s-next creativity. Explore the magic and depths of this fascinating material. Celebrate alongside the artists who put this region on the map. We hope to see you here.

The Glass Art Guide to Seattle and the Puget Sound Region

Get a head start on Refract with the Glass Art Guide to Seattle and the Puget Sound Region. It’s filled with stories of glass art and artists of the Pacific Northwest and has complete listings for glass art museums, studios, schools, and retail locations for all tastes.

Located at Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass brings together all the elements of artist Dale Chihuly’s work, including Drawings, signature glass series, large architectural installations and personal collections. The long-term Exhibition features indoor galleries, the centerpiece Glasshouse, and an ever-changing Garden, along with live glass demonstrations, a Theatre, and The Bar at Chihuly Garden and Glass, featuring creative cocktails alongside delicious bites and plates in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.


Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development.