1. Why are the fish numbered, stamped, and signed?
By signing, stamping and dating every fish sculpture, Chase is protecting the artwork against “design theft”. You will always be able to prove that you have an original design–not a copy–by looking at the backside of your fish. Many customers and collectors enjoy referring to these stamped numbers to keep track of the various changes in the designs that develop over the years.
Every fish sculpture is carefully oxidized and hand-forged. Chase Allen and his helpers weld and shape these coastal sculptures utilizing traditional blacksmithing and self-taught methods which often includes the use of hand crafted tools. You will notice that all Iron Fish sculptures have a timeless vintage finish that took Chase years to develop.
2. Classic Hidden Eye Signature
When you are viewing fish sculptures on the “current”, “retired”, or “permanent” sculpture pages, notice that a CA is cut for the shape of the fishes eye. This stylized form of authentication has been added to each fish sculpture created since early/mid 2007. Take a look at the “retired” sculptures created before 2007 and you will notice the eye’s did not have this signature touch. Keep an “eye” out for the recently added subliminal signature that you will find on your new metal fish sculpture. FYI, this form of authentication is not added to the crab , stingray, or mermaid sculptures.
3. Is It Handmade?
All Chase Allen iron fish sculptures are handmade, but not everyone relies on traditional methods anymore. Here’s how to tell if a piece of metal art is truly unique:
a. Are the edges imperfect?
Most enthusiasts of handmade metalwork seek out rougher edges. Computer-driven torches and lasers make perfect edges, which definitely detract from the uniqueness of the art.
b. Is the shop high-tech?
If you have the opportunity, tour the shop, ask questions and look around for signs of a mechanized assembly line.
c. Is there a computer nearby?
A computer inside the shop indicates that the craftsman may not be cutting with a hand-held torch. If the metalworker has been “working” and his or her clothes are clean, that could mean that the computer is doing all of the work.
d. Does the work have a signature?
Most true artists sign their pieces upon completion.
4. Certificate of Authenticity
This is a sample of the Iron Fish’s certificate of authenticity that comes with all iron fish coastal sculpture purchases. Each certificate has been signed by the artist, dated, and sealed with the official Iron Fish logo. Please keep this certificate filed away in a safe place for collector and authentication purposes.