Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hello, St. Paul

Irwin Terry and Bill Campbell are pleased to announce that Century Studios has opened in St. Paul, Minnesota. We have now resumed our regular business hours. On Monday, our new door was installed and many finishing touches were completed in our showroom so we could re-open beginning Tuesday, April 28.

The paint is still fresh on many of the surfaces, and there are more than a couple things to put away, but our showroom is pulled together and ready for visitors. The photo to the right shows the showroom when only the lamps and furniture were in place. The photo on the left shows the view from the work area at the back of the main floor.

We have already had many old friends and new acquaintances stopping by to check out our new digs. We invite everyone to come by!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goodbye, Downtown Minneapolis

Saturday April 18 was the last day that our showroom in downtown Minneapolis was open. We are now at the final stages of our move to our new location in St. Paul, MN.

This past week, Bill Campbell hand painted the new shop sign. Early Saturday morning, the sign was transported to the new space and was hung above our shop window (still covered in brown paper, but not for much longer). We will be packing up the items in our showroom this week and will be open for business before the end of the month!

Century Studios' new address is:

Century Studios
1816 St. Clair Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Free street parking!

Our contact information will be updated on our website soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

22" Greek Key

The newest addition to our list of lamp offerings is the 22" Greek Key design. This shade pattern has a classic look and feel, and the designers at Tiffany Studios incorporated the Greek key motif into several stained glass lamp shades. Due to the generous size of the 22" Greek Key shade, this lamp can be used as a large table lamp (the lamp is shown on the Twisted Vine base above), on a Junior Floor base, or as a chandelier fixture. The lamp shown was commissioned by a client in Virginia, and was made in lush amber tones with hints of green and rust/brown in the lower portion of the shade. The client is using the shade with a reproduction Tiffany Junior Floor base.

Used throughout ancient Greece as a decorative element on architecture, clothing and weaponry, the "Greek key" motif actually predates the Greeks. The design can be found adorning Egyptian tombs, ancient Peruvian weaving, Chinese buildings, and on Aztec sculpture. It was the Greeks however, who made the design their own. One theory of the origin of the Greek key is that it represents the maze which imprisoned the minotaur. As a symbol of infinity and unity, it is a motif that can look classic or modern, and is still a major design element in decorative arts and furnishings today.

The photo to the right shows Irwin hand foiling the individual pieces of the border row before placing them onto the waxed form. Once all the pieces were foiled and put in place on the form, the shade was soldered and finished (photo below).

This 22" Greek Key shade was the last project to be completed at our downtown Minneapolis studio. Since the shade was finished and shipped to Virginia, we have been working on moving everything from the back workrooms to our new studio location. Our showroom remains open in Minneapolis as we put the finishing touches on our new St. Paul studio space.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Two Window Projects

This week we are revisiting two major window commissions which were created for a local client. Both photos were taken during the installation of the Ophelia window.

Created in 2001, our Hylas and the Nymphs window is based on the 1896 painting by John William Waterhouse. The image was chosen by our client and presented an exciting challenge. The complex window gave us the opportunity to create a wealth of details and use multiple layers of glass. The figures in Hylas have been hand painted by Bill Campbell using powdered minerals which are kiln fired onto the glass surface. Almost the entire window was created using two layers of glass. This was particularly effective in the water areas of the image, giving a sparkling depth to the pond. Our clients installed the completed stained glass over a custom built exterior window, then framed it to look like a painting hanging on the wall. Daylight illuminates the panel, and exterior lights were added so it could also be enjoyed in the evening. For another photo of this window, visit the Window section in the Gallery on our website.

In the same room, on an adjacent wall to the right of Hylas and the Nymphs, visitors see our Ophelia window. Ophelia is positioned above a picture window in a half-round eyebrow window. Once again, multiple glass layers and minute details bring this window to life, even though Ophelia's life is fading. The 1850 painting by Sir John Everett Millais was the inspiration for our stained glass depiction of a subject from Shakespeare's Hamlet. We created this piece in 2004.