Canadian Chalet Glass Exhibition

Research into ‘new’ areas of collecting is always an immensely valuable activity for so many reasons. When I first went out to Canada six or so years ago, my eye was caught by a number of extravagant and elegant glass bowls and vases in a rainbow of vibrant colours. You can see an example here. At first glance one may think that they were made on the Venetian island of Murano, and many of the shop labels confirmed that. However, some claimed that they were by a Canadian company called Chalet.
Even though this name is new to our eyes and minds, they were correct – as marks and labels on some of the pieces testified to. Now, an exciting new exhibition promises to blow the lid on this exciting and rapidly developing market. To be held from this Saturday 30th October until 2nd December 2010, the exhibition contains over 200 examples of stunning Chalet glass sourced from a dozen private collection across Canada. Called ‘The Art & Artisans of Chalet Glass’, the venue is the Cornwall Regional Art Gallery, in Ontario. You can download the informative press release by clicking here.
Chalet art glass was made in Cornwall by Muranese immigrant glassmakers from 1961-76. It was sold all over Canada, as well as being exported to other countries – very much like Blue Mountain ceramics. Dramatically curved and elongated arms, flower-like curving forms, and zingy colours were typical. The exhibition is the first to focus on the company and its works, and includes rare items such as a table lamp, a bridal basket and paperweights, as well as a number of very special pieces made as official gifts to international dignitaries visiting the EXPO ’67 in Montreal.
I really do wish I could go, not only so I could enjoy the visual feast this glass offers, but also to learn which shapes and colours were used at Chalet so I can differentiate it from other postwar Murano or Czech glass. If, like me, you can’t go, I can recommend checking out the excellent Chalet Vintage Art Glass website. Not only can you buy a piece of your own, but the ‘About Chalet’ section offers a brilliant history of the company. The market is booming in Canada, but examples can still be found internationally for bargain prices if you look and learn. I wish the organisers and collectors luck – spread the word!

One thought on “Canadian Chalet Glass Exhibition

  1. patterson says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you again for your promotion of the Chalet exhibit – it was such a thrill seeing it Saturday morning before I left for Cornwall I wrote and response and not seeing it here today realized I must have forgotten to hit submitLOL! Just a little distracted!!!!!!!!
    The show opened on Saturday and the opening reception was a grand success – over 150 people attended the reception and there were collectors from all over Ontario, Quebec and Alberta as well as the local area. But the most amazing sight was seeing 5 Chalet glass blowers lined up together for a photo. My personal pinnacle was getting to snuggle up with them for a photo – going into my program with their autographs!

    The program and the reference guide sold out! Our second printing will be ready in 3 weeks and I will get it off to you straight away. We thought we had ordered lots but I guess that since this was the first Chalet show ever, we didn’t take that into account.

    And on a personal note – I was thrilled to see that you found my website credible and helpful! My next project is to update its content with everything I’ve learned through coordinating the show and then to do a refernece guide on bases.

    I have been promised expert help here too – Antonio Tedesco, Chalet’s molleria expert who finished the bases and the 3rd Tedesco brother, has agreed to let me sit at his kitchen table and pick his brain! He really has no idea what he’s letting himself in for!

    Thank you again – your support is greatly appreciated!


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