Sunday, June 30, 2013

Polychrome Window

Bill has wanted to do a stained glass piece based on this illustration by John R. Neill, from 1909's The Road to Oz, for a long time. The image shows Polychrome, the rainbow's daughter, returning home to her rainbow at the end of the story - her father scoops her up as her sisters welcome her back. The illustration is quite elaborate, which made this an interesting challenge to translate into glass. Bill created this window by himself over several weeks, while Irwin worked on lamp projects for clients.

The first step in creating a winodw is drawing the pattern (called a cartoon) which will be used for the layout and cutting the glass. This involves examining the image and breaking it down into individual pieces that are capable of being cut from glass. Facial details will be painted and fired, and this window will include a lot of painting to give it the feel of the illustration!

The picture above shows the finished cartoon together with a piece of glass that certainly looks like a rainbow all on its own! This glass was used as color inspiration for the entire window.

Bill begins painting the Rainbow's head. Glass paint is basically powdered minerals mixed with gum arabic and water. When fired in a kiln at the right temperature, the paint fuses into the glass surface.

The Rainbow's head has had its first firing - shading and color are built up through multiple layers and firings. Each of the many painted pieces in this window will be fired at least three times.

Here's a kiln full of rainbow faces waiting to be fired. Glass always needs to be tested for firing first, as some glasses can turn opaque in the kiln. After going through the work of painting, you don't want to find a surprise like that.

The Polychrome window is progressing nicely. Here's a shot showing the start of laying out the rainbow. There's quite a way to go yet before the window will be finished.

It's all moving along - The central image of the window is cut and fit and all the painting is completed. The decorative borders have yet to be added and then the final construction of the window will begin.

After passing through the stages of design, cutting, fitting, and painting, there are still several steps before the window is complete. We use a copper foil technique, which means each glass piece must be wrapped around the edge with copper foil, which is what holds everything in place after soldering. In the photo below, Bill is foiling (on the left) and soldering (on the right). After soldering, the window is cleaned and the lead lines are darkened. Finally, the window is ready to frame or install!

Our stained glass rendition of Polychrome returning to her rainbow is finished!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lamp of the Week: 18" Grape

The 18" Grape is one of several Tiffany Studios lamp designs that incorporate a cast bronze crown at the top of the shade that mates with the Tree Trunk base. This shade features ripening grapes cascading down the side of the shade. We created this shade over 20 years ago and it resides in a local collection.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

10" Turtleback on Ruffle Base

Last week we completed a 10" Turtleback shade for a local client. This is the smallest turtleback shade we create. The green turtleback band is inset against a spring green background glass. The shade is shown on the Three Armed Ruffle base. This lamp is a perfect accent for any interior.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lamp of the Week: 18" Clematis

Tiffany Studios created Clematis shades in several sizes. One of the most popular is the 18" Clematis. This low cone is covered in blooms and is a perfect showcase for blue and purple glasses. The shade was created in 2007 as a showroom piece and was purchased by a local client. The shade is shown on the Mockturtle base.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Acorn Lamps

Things sometimes go in multiples at the studio. We recently had two clients who both commissioned 16" Acorn shades.

The first lamp was for a local client to decorate their bungalow style home. The colors were chosen to work with the decorating themes in the home. The decorative band was accented by using a darker green glass so it stood out against the background of the shade. Deep orange/amber acorns provide a splash of color. The photo at the top of the post shows the shade on the versatile Small Stick base. The photo on the left shows the same shade on the Pottery Base - Kendrick Design.

The second 16" Acorn shade was created for an out of state client who had an antique pottery base that needed a shade. We chose a celedon green glass that complimented the glaze color of the base for the background and a light amber glass for the acorns.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lamp of the Week: 16" Fern on Cereus Base

The 16" Fern is an unusual Tiffany Studios shade design with a strong graphic quality.  This shade was commissioned several years ago by a client in Texas. The design of the Cereus base is inspired by a night blooming cactus. The base is made at our studio.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

16" Dragonfly on Dragonfly Mosaic Urn Base

Dragonfly shades are instantly recognizable as the iconic Tiffany Studios lamp design. Tiffany made dragonfly shades in many sizes, and the pattern lends itself to infinite color possibilities. Commissioned by a local client, this 16" Dragonfly shade was created in variations of deep jewel tones of blues and greens.

The Dragonfly Mosaic Urn base was designed by Tiffany Studios as a companion to the shade. The base has dragonflies and water plants cast in bronze with shimmering glass mosaic tiles making up the background.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Window of the Week: Peacock Window

One of Tiffany Studios' more famous domestic windows is their Peacock Window. We recreated this window the same size as the original in the mid-1990's for our showroom. This piece was purchased by a local client.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

20" Turtleback Chandelier

This week, Century Studios is pleased to add another shade to our line - the 20" Turtleback Chandelier. Tiffany Studios created this shade in several sizes, and this is a smaller version of the large 26" Turtleback Chandelier we make.

This unusual Tiffany chandelier was created using large turtleback tiles which were pressed using molds taken from an original example. The amber/butterscotch glass color was custom made for us after several years of trial and error, and the tiles have a strong amber lustre surface. The spaces between the large tiles are filled by hand cutting/fitting/faceting chunks cut from additional tiles. The finished shade realistically resembles the shell of a large tortoise. We can also create this shade using green turtlebacks.

This lamp is currently available in our showroom.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Our Anniversary!

On June 1, 1986 Irwin Terry & Bill Campbell
founded Century Studios!