The American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly is best known for his innovative blown glass techniques. Characterized by asymmetry and irregularity, Chihuly’s works are a departure from traditional symmetry and perfectly formed vessels. Today, his most popular and recognized series include his large-scale public art hanging installations of chandeliers.
By pushing the boundaries and possibilities of glass throughout his career, Chihuly combined glasswork with large-scale sculptural work. Chihuly’s interest in how glass can affect spatial perceptions and create profound experiences led to the development of his chandeliers. His chandeliers create a captivating visual experience and dialogue with their indoor or outdoor setting through color and form. Furthermore, he explores how architecture and form interact with space and light.
Each of Chihuly’s chandeliers is a balance between opulence and elegance. Chihuly further highlights his interest in how multiple glass forms would look like in space through the saturation of monochromatic or complementary hues that produce breathtaking pieces. Though not actual functional chandeliers, the unique designs of the glass sculptures break natural and artificial light intricately.
Chihuly’s chandeliers are hundreds of individual blown glass elements combined to create elaborate and intricate compositions. A single chandelier can comprise up to thousands of individual glass pieces with complex twists and coils hand-wired to a metal armature skeleton. The size and shape of the forms vary throughout each tier and add to the uniqueness of the piece. Modern Artifact owns the largest Chihuly chandelier, two thousand individual pieces, commissioned for private ownership in Windsor, England.
The intricate design of the numerous glass forms tied to create Dale Chihuly’s chandeliers are one of the many characteristics that make them beautiful and unique artworks. However, their complexity and multiple parts make them a nightmare during installation and de-installation. Modern Artifact offers professional services to assemble or disassemble Chihuly chandeliers for a fraction of the cost of using Chihuly’s studios' assembly services.
The assembly of a chandelier occurs spontaneously. Chihuly prefers to build quickly without following a plan and instead allowing for the structure to flow naturally layer by layer. The design of a chandelier can change as there is an initial installation mock-up. The design is then recreated as closely as possible during the actual install. During any de-install, the individual pieces come down by strata—crown, top, middle top, middle, bottom, and tail—to facilitate the next assemblage. Every installation of a chandelier creates a new and unique design as a Chihuly chandelier is never built the same twice.
Modern Artifact offers a team of experienced professionals, many of whom have previously worked for the Chihuly studios, to facilitate the install and de-install of a chandelier. Furthermore, we use the same lighting engineers as Chihuly studios and provide insurance. Though the chandeliers are large, shipping worldwide is available as they are quite mobile and transfer from locations is effortless.