Since Bill has been busy working on a large mosaic project for a client, Irwin decided it was time to revisit one of the most complex patterns we offer - the 18" Lotus Lamp. We made the Lotus pictured on the left about 20 years ago, and have only made this lamp on commission since then, so we felt it was time to make another example for our showroom. The overall look of the piece Irwin is currently creating will be deeper in tone than the one pictured.
The 18" Lotus Lamp is one of those Tiffany Studios lamp patterns with multiple names. It is interchangeably referred to as the Lotus, Flowering Lotus and Descending Lotus shade. On the original Tiffany Studios' price list it was called a Pond Lily, but so were about 6 other lamp designs. To dispel some of the confusion we refer to it as the Lotus pattern. Tiffany Studios only made about eight examples of this early lamp.
In laying out this lamp Irwin is using a stash of glass he has been saving for years, specifically for this pattern. Beginning with a blue fracture/streamer water glass that was made by Schlitz Studios, Irwin began the painstaking process of laying out the water and stems. While only 18" in diameter, this shade has close to 1800 individual pieces of glass. The delicate stem and water pieces become mere slivers as they converge towards the top of the shade. Most hand rolled art glass is approximately 1/8" thick, so these needle shaped pieces get very tricky to cut, fit and foil by hand.
Once the water and flower stems were cut and fit, selecting the glass for the flowers could begin. The glass for each flower petal and leaf was carefully chosen to create an impressionistic water garden. In the above left photo you can see how individual flowers are composed and checked on the light table. In the photo to the right, you can see one section of the lamp that is ready to be hand foiled before transferring the pieces onto the waxed lamp form. Many hours were spent selecting the flowers and looking through our library of glass to find just the right colors and textures to make the pattern come alive. The complete Lotus Lamp has four repeats of this pattern section.
We will do more postings on this elaborate project as it progresses. Below, you can view all four sections of the lamp in a row.