Chihuly made the first Reeds in 1995 at the Hackman factory in Nuutajärvi, a small glassblowing town in Finland. Unlike other factories, the Hackman facility has very high ceilings, which inspired Chihuly to make these elongated forms. To create the long, tubular shape of a Reed, one glassblower must be elevated in a mechanical lift while blowing through the pipe to encourage the form to stretch, while another pulls the glass toward the ground.
In Finland we started making these long, cylindrical pieces which looked like spears. This was an exciting new form. It was the first time we ever made anything like that. They can be taken anywhere—they can go outside. They are very strong pieces, and they are very dramatic.