Meet Daufuskie Island Artist : Chase Allen

Most of us dream of retiring to a remote island. Metal sculptor Chase Allen already lives that coastal dream. Once a real estate agent with a degree in marketing, this Daufuskie Island artist took a risk and went after what he really wanted: the simple life. In November of 2001, Chase traded in the boardroom for an open air studio on rural Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, where, amidst a shower of birdsong and fiery sparks, he forges colorful metal coastal sculptures that are as unique and rustic as his historic island home.

Situated along a dirt road deep in Daufuskie’s maritime forest, Chase Allen’s shop, The Iron Fish Gallery & Studio, is a treasured local landmark. Visitors will find a yard filled with handcrafted metal coastal sculptures and a historic Gullah constructed house covered in vintage finished iron fish, crab, lobster, and mermaid sculptures. More often than not, they’ll also find the self-taught “coastal artist” himself, hammering, cutting, forging and welding under the shade of a moss-draped oak.

Part of the charm of this Gallery is in the way Chase operates his business. Over the years, Chase observed that when people had questions or wanted him to wrap or ship a sculpture, they would simply ask. Expect a polite acknowledgment and then plenty of time alone to decide on what to take home. If you would like the artists opinion, so long as Chase is around, he is always willing to put in his two cents.

Chase chooses to leave visitors alone while they are shopping at his coastal gallery because he never wants anyone to feel pressured. This Daufuskie Island artist feels strongly that handcrafted art should sell itself. His reasoning is that if the artwork speaks to you or makes you feel something good, that is all someone needs to make a decision to decorate their own homes with his coastal sculptures.

Another charming part of how he operates his beach cottage gallery is if he’s working in his backyard studio or getting supplies on the mainland, 

a sign on the porch directs gallery visitors to take what they want and leave the money in the “honor box”, also known as “slip a check under the door”. Don’t fret if you have forgotten your check book or cash because if you sign in to the “Guest Log”, Chase will call you for a credit card number after he returns.

Thanks to the word getting out through magazine coverage such as Coastal Living, Southern Living, Charleston, Charleston Home, The South, H20, and Hilton Head Monthly, customers and collecters like yourself visiting can find the same creative tokens of island life online–but with a slightly more modern payment platform. These signature handcrafted coastal decorative sculptures come individually stamped, signed, dated and cleverly gift-wrapped in market paper for guaranteed freshness.   Ideal gifts for any occasion, these iron fish coastal sculptures are more than works of art; they’re mementos of the simple life–flown in fresh from an island untouched by time.

The Iron Fish Gallery-Coastal decor at it’s finest!