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.

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