Had deconstruction begun by the time we arrived in late November?

               

    We saw…                                                          Earlier in the season, display included…

 



 

Possibly some of the more fragile pieces in the ponds where ice was beginning to form were removed early to avoid damage in the freezing and thawing of the water where they had been floating.
According to Tacoma-based Arnhold, who started working with Chihuly more than 15 years ago, only around four pieces of glass broke during the trip to Denver. The glass pieces are packed in heavy-gauge cardboard boxes, each in its own compartment and cushioned with thick, durable foam ordered from a special manufacturer. Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap sometimes augment the packaging. Each box is labeled according to the appropriate structure, with photos of the pieces taped to the top, and a sheet listing the number of pieces, descriptions, the packer’s name, date, box size and weight. The boxes then are placed on trailer trucks for the long haul to their destination. An organization that hosts a Chihuly exhibition typically covers the cost of shipping and insurance. 
At the garden, the boxes were moved to each installation spot. The glass iscarefully removed by the installation team and garden volunteers, all wearing either leather or Kevlar gloves.  Steel wires of varying thickness arere drilled into each piece, and the installer secures the wires to a steel armature, or frame. Cranes and scaffolding are used to assemble the biggest ones. 
They typically have a backup plan, sending some extra elements so if something breaks on site, then they have replacements. It’s inevitable that the some glass breaks during installation, but the forces of nature, including temperature changes, wind, hail, and rocks tend to break them more. The installation team brings along about 10 percent of extra glass to each exhibit. To make sure the installations are sparkling, they’re cleaned with microfiber cloths, and for trouble spots, a spray and cloth. Simply hosing them off would leave water spots.