Much like boat building, creating sculpted glass is a refined art, which requires a combination of vision, patience, and well-orchestrated commitment to detail.
2023 Viking Yachts 90 Galley/Salon
Channell’s illuminated galley backsplashes are one of his first innovative applications of his work that are still withstanding the tests of time.
Christopher Channell has the proven ability to align his artistic and technical talents to make your vision a reality.
This application provides a view looking aft from the wet bar through the salon into the cockpit area.
Chris, standing in front of his piece in the Viking Lobby.
Chris Channell may not be a name you recognize, but if you have ever visited the Viking Yacht Company in New Gretna, New Jersey, you likely came face-to-face with his artwork the moment you walked through the glass doors in the lobby. Created more than 20 years ago, the 8-by-4-foot backlit glass sculpture portrays a dreamy three-dimensional undersea scene. Etched with marine life, the expansive piece is an invitation to stare and wonder. The story behind the art is in many ways typical of Viking’s relationships with its revered vendors who help us build a better boat every day. A long-time Viking owner building a first-generation 55 Convertible back in the mid 1990s had seen Chris’ work on a mega yacht and wanted something similar on his new Viking. Interestingly, the artist had already approached Viking but had been turned down. When Chris explained the situation to the 55 owner, he suggested the owner tell Viking he wanted Channell Glass on his new boat. The Viking door opened and Chris has been providing his glass sculptures aboard Viking and Princess yachts for more than 30 years. When the lobby sculpture arrived in New Gretna, Co-founder Bill Healey and head designer Bruce Wilson loved the artwork, but not the frame that Chris had provided because it did not complement the overall look of the lobby. In true Viking fashion, a decision was made on the spot to renovate the lobby to better showcase the Channell Glass.
To ensure the satisfaction of every Viking owner, Bill Healey insisted that it would be Chris’ responsibility to complete all of the Channell Glass installations personally. This gave him an opportunity to foster kinships with many of Viking’s stalwarts including Rudy Dalinger, Al and Frank Uhl, Chris Abbott, Steve Walker, Gary Kozlowski, Dave Wilson and Hank Konopka. Chris’ commitment to replicate the Viking mantra can be seen in all of his work, which includes nearly 400 pieces aboard Viking yachts, including galley backsplashes, stateroom headboards, aft bulkhead exterior windows, internal bulkhead and wall treatments, room dividers and fishing rod locker doors. Each piece is as unique as the owner specifies, and its creation usually begins with a simple conversation between Chris and the customer. “Whether I’m chatting with visitors at the Viking and Valhalla VIP or at boat shows, every conversation begins with a ‘hello’ and a smile,” says Chris. “My work on display speaks volumes, and you can see it in the customers’ eyes.” His love of scuba diving and appreciation of underwater life serve as inspiration for his creations. His devotion is so visual in his glasswork that each element – from a marauding billfish to the dorsal fins of a tuna or even a bunch of drifting seaweed – shimmers with life and movement. Underwater scenes with turtles, lobsters, anemones, small fish and coral become serene with its three-dimensional posture.
Channell Glass – Viking Valhalla Article (Winter 2023)