Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Shade Design & Wally Birds

7" Geometric Shade

Making its debut as a wall sconce in our showroom is a new shade design we have just added to our available patterns. This petite 7" Geometric shade has a 2 1/4" fitter ring which makes it ideal for wall sconces and as a hanging pendant fixture. This versatile shade can be created in almost any color of glass.

Wally Birds

Originally created by The Martin Brother's Pottery in England in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, Wally Birds were the creation of Wallace Martin. With removable heads, these unique containers were hand sculpted in stoneware and glazed in a wood-fired kiln. Today, we are pleased to offer modern adaptations of these classic arts & crafts objects.

Created for Century Studios by Bur Oak Pottery (artists Ed & Laura Klein), each of our Wally Birds is unique. The bodies, heads and bases start as hand thrown pots, then artist Ed Klein takes these elements as a framework to begin sculpting each Wally Bird. Hand sculpted legs are attached to the thrown base and a "body pot" is attached to the top of the legs. Using his exceptional skills, Ed begins shaping the bodies, adding wings and feathers until he transforms the pot into a unique sculpture. The head is transformed by adding the beak, eyes and more plumage.

Bur Oak Pottery uses stoneware and wood fires the glazes of these unique birds, just like the originals. The firing alone is a 12 - 15 hour ordeal that requires constant monitoring, but produces the unique glaze colors and variations that cannot be found on any other type of pottery. Ed turns and paints a wooden base for each bird to lend authenticity to the finished creations.

Because of the tremendous amount of work involved in creating each of these one-of-a-kind creatures, we rarely have new birds available. Just in time for our Open House on June 19th, a flock of birds flew into our showroom to the delight of the people who attended. Selling quickly, we only have three birds left for purchase from the current flock: the Well Fed Bird (upper right), the Thoughtful Bird (above left), and the Opera Bird (right).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Busy Week

Last week at Century Studios, we worked on and/or completed 7 different projects, then capped the week off with our Grand Opening/Open House on Friday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm!

Our Open House was a great success with many friends, clients, and new acquaintances stopping by to visit. Our supply of snacks held out through a 10 minute downpour of rain about 7:30 pm, which kept visitors indoors. The rain disappeared as quickly as it came upon us, and it did not dampen the spirits of our visitors.

One of the projects we completed last week was something of a flashback for us. Years ago, we created a series of window hangings based on illustrations from the Wizard of Oz books (to the left you can see 4 of the panels from the series). We created ten different designs for this series, and we sold them through a New York City bookstore for several years. When we moved into our new location, we decided to hang our prototype panels for this series in our back window to give our workspace some color. This has revived an interest in the pieces, and a recent visitor to our studio has ordered up a complete set of the colorful panels.

Using the illustrations by John R. Neill as inspiration, Bill Campbell drew ten different panels using the famous "OZ" logo as a framework to feature characters from the book series. While many of the characters depicted in the panels will not be familiar to those who only know the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, all the favorites are present including the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grand Opening

On Friday June 19th, Century Studios will be celebrating the Grand Opening or our new studio space with an Open House from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We will have light refreshments from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome to stop by and see our new space! In addition to our studio-made lamps, windows and suncatchers, we have new pieces from the potters we feature.

Daytime visitors, be sure to check out Essence of Nonsense, a unique toy, book, card, bear, and marble establishment that has been a neighborhood fixture for years. Across the street from Century Studios - www.itsimplyworks.com/essenceofnonsense

Let your inner child run wild at Uncle Sven's Comic Shoppe (open 'till 8pm on Fridays). An old fashioned neighborhood comic shop, west of Century Studios on St. Clair Avenue, across Fairview Avenue.

The Wine Thief has a fine selection of affordable wines - all wines are priced under $20.00. Wine tastings. Open 'till 9 p.m. Across the street from Century Studios, next to Essence of Nonsense. www.thewinethief.net

Start your Friday evening out with us and be sure to visit our neighboring eating establishments:

Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar - Heartland Restaurant features critically acclaimed regional dining selections by chef Lenny Russo. Heartland Wine Bar serves beer & wine as well as selections from their menu. Walk out our door and into Heartland! www.heartlandrestaurant.com

The Groveland Tap - Burgers, wings and fries, along with a fine selection of beer. Outdoor seating available. West of Century Studios on St. Clair Avenue, across Fairview Avenue. www.grovelandtap.com

Start with a visit to Century Studios and then explore our new neighborhood!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

12" Dogwood

Another shade we recently completed for a local client was a 12" Dogwood. The client had obtained an original Tiffany Studios petite floor lamp which had no shade, and he commissioned us to make a shade for the base. This type of Tiffany floor base originally would have had either a blown glass, spun metal or stained glass shade.

Because this base supports the shade using a harp at the top, a fitter ring was needed to be able to mount the shade to the base. The client requested the dogwood flowers to be done in pinks, and we found some wonderful "gold pinks" in our library of glass.

Glass is colored by incorporating minerals and mineral oxides into the molten batch. Different minerals will produce various colors when added. To produce a pink with a fuchsia hue, gold is used. Gold will also produce purples that stay purple in incandescent light - purples made with other minerals will appear purple in sunlight, but will brown out when lit by an incandescent light source.

To keep the tone of this tiny gem light and airy, fracture/streamer glass has been utilized. This versatile glass keeps the shade from looking heavy. The combination of gold pinks and fracture/streamer is a perfect compliment for the Gold Dore finish on the base.