A Guide to Dale Chihuly’s Artwork

If you’re the owner of any blown glass artwork, or ever even stopped to watch a glass blowing demonstration, then you have Dale Chihuly to partially thank for that. His unique glass artwork first started in the 1960s has been a big contributor to the revitalization of the use of glass in the art world. Here is a brief overview of the impact that Chihuly has had on the industry over the years.

The Artistic Academic

Unlike a lot of other prominent artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, Dale Chihuly pursued an extensive formal education, with most of his majors being artistic in nature. He developed a passion for glass work early on, and it actually earned him the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant in 1968. Chihuly has since toured the world in both a teacher and student role, always focusing on the world of glass.

Becoming a Teacher 

Chihuly’s actual career as a glass blower was significantly affected in the late ’70s due to a series of accidents which resulted in him being permanently blinded in his left eye and having his right shoulder dislocated. This forced Chihuly to step into a teaching role instead of an artistic role, which he found to be a good fit for him. As a teacher, Chihuly has led teams of artists in creating his and their artistic visions.

Great Glass Works

The creations brought to us by Chihuly and his team can be seen in many auction galleries in Dania Beach and all over the world. It is reported that as of 2004 the total sales of these artworks had brought in over $29 million.

Over the past 60 years, Chihuly’s artwork has birthed many significant pieces that challenged the art world’s view on the line between crafts and art. One of these pieces is the 1975 “Navajo Blanket Series” which included Navajo blanket patterns painted onto sheets of glass.

His later works involved the transformation of glass into unique and unusual shapes. A great example of this is his famous “Chandeliers” series that started in 1992. Some of the entries in this series featured glass blown into the shape of flowers, snakes, and other intricate items.

Chihuly’s work, especially his later stuff, is instantly recognizable due to the vivid colors used and often elaborate displays of glass forms. His work is even responsible for setting world records, with his 2000 Jerusalem exhibition holding the record for most visitors to a temporary artwork display. These accolades have made Chihuly a household name in the art world, and have helped challenge the art community’s view on the importance of glass work.

4 Tips for Buying Antiques

The idea of having antique pieces in the home is appealing for many reasons. Firstly, they add a degree of charm and sophistication when integrated into the right room in the right way, and they can be a true focal point in an area of the home. They also allow the individual to express their personality, selecting antique pieces that are reflective of their own preferences or quirky lifestyle habits. But buy the wrong one, or get ripped off, and pretty soon, none of this seems like the answer. Keep these tips in mind when you are heading to our auction gallery in Dania Beach to purchase antiques or anywhere in the world:

1)   Leave Town

Good antiques are not found in the city center. The best, most authentic pieces, with a good price point and value for money are found in small communities, rural areas or on the side of the road somewhere. We have all been to that little antique shop that we thought looked like nothing but turned out to be a treasure trove of delights. Seek those out, and don’t be afraid to go on the hunt for the perfect antique shop before you look for the perfect piece!

2)   Stay Single

The reason auctions are often a great place to find antiques is because they typically are selling a single piece. These single pieces tend to be unique and one-of-a-kind, and you can be more assured that they are an authentic antique piece and are worth the price that they are selling for. Antique shops will also have these single pieces, so be on the lookout for them when you start your hunt.

3)   Ask the Hard Questions

Don’t assume everything you read to be true. When you are at an antique dealer, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want to verify the authenticity of the piece, as well as know that what you are paying for it is reasonable and you aren’t being ripped off. Ask about the age of the item, its previous home, and owners, as well as how long it has been in the shop.

4)   Be Flexible

While bartering is important, and you should definitely hone in your negotiating skills before you head out on your antique shopping spree, being open and flexible to opportunity and what you may find is also important. It is better to head out looking for antiques with a general idea of what you want instead of specific confines, or better yet, to have minimal confines at all and just being open to finding whatever unique pieces may be on offer. Showing up with only wanting a certain item may limit your ability to find it, or cause you to miss out on another one of kind opportunities or pieces that come up.

While antiques offer an exceptional decorative addition to any home, without knowing how to buy them, you may end up with an overpriced, falsely antique item that you don’t actually want at all.