Sunday, June 22, 2014

18" Calamondin Orange Tree Lamp

We have completed the 18" Calamondin Orange Tree lamp. This lamp is an original Century Studios lamp design by Bill Campbell (see the previous post for our design inspiration). The lamp was designed to utilize the Tiffany 18" Wisteria crown and form, and is now in a private Midwest collection.

With just under 2050 individual pieces of glass, this shade is the most complex shade we offer - the Orange Tree has more pieces than the 18" Wisteria and the 28" Laburnum.  Shades of this complexity will take close to 300 hours of production time to create. At different stages in the process, one of both of us will be working on the project.

Bill did the glass selection for this intricate shade. Many glass colors and textures were carefully considered during the layout. The finished shade features a delicate balance of ring mottled, streaky, fracture/streamer, and ripple glass to give us the effects of light and shade we wanted. The background areas were cut from an old Oceana 900 series glass - this glass has the unique property of being sparkly and transparent when lit and opaque when unlit. Unfortunately, this glass is no longer being made by Oceana.

Once the glass was completely cut and fit to the pattern, the long process of foiling each piece of glass began. Foiling is a repetitive task that requires hand-eye coordination, but can leave the artist longing to get up and do something else. To break the monotony of this task, we often listen to books on CD while foiling.

The soldering process is somewhat tricky on this style of shade. The large cast crown makes the shade top heavy, and it must be rotated and tipped while being soldered. Since molten solder runs downhill, the portion of shade being soldered must always face upwards!

The final step in the soldering process is to attach a half round copper wire which conforms to the irregular lower edge of the shade. This wire is secured in place and then soldered to form a strong lower edge for the lamp. The shade is then ready for cleaning and patination.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lamp of the Week: 20" Poppy

The 20" Poppy shade is one of the most popular Tiffany Studios shade designs. The shade can be created in any color scheme and filigree on both the leaves and flower centers give the shade a unique appearance. We created this shade as a showroom piece over 20 years ago using Lins glass. The shade is shown on the Twisted Vine base. This lamp is in a private collection.

Monday, June 16, 2014

18" Calamondin Orange Lamp

Bill has created an original shade design for an 18" Calamondin Orange shade. Taking inspiration from the small orange trees that can be grown as house plants, he used the 18" Wisteria form and cast crown as the starting point to design this shade. The diminutive trees thrive as potted plants, or can grow to larger sizes when planted out of doors in warmer Southern climates.

Calamondin Oranges produce small, tart fruit that tastes similar to limes and can be used in marmalades, sauces or any flavorings where you need a tart citrus flavor. The Calamondin Orange plant produces fruit year round and will have small white blossoms appear at the same time with the ripening fruit.

The design for this lamp is quite intricate, with the final shade having more pieces than a Tiffany Studios 18" Wisteria shade. We will show the shade's progress and completed lamp in a later post.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose Window

We recently completed a window based on John Singer Sargent's 1885-86 painting titled Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. The painting, now in the Tate Gallery, depicts a pair girls lighting lanterns at twilight. The painting took Sargent such a long time to complete because he only worked on it out of doors at twilight. This meant that Sargent would set up the scene every day (in good weather) and then could only paint for a few minutes each day when the light was exactly right.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose has always been a favorite painting of Bill's, and he made the cartoon for this window almost 15 years ago in anticipation of creating the window. Using glass that we had in our hold bins over the years, the window is now complete and will be going into the home of a local client.

This complex window uses drapery glass and plated layers for color in the dress the central girl. The drapery section of the window is plated with a second layer which gives the dress its distinctive coloration.

The floral areas are comprised of many small, intricately fit pieces of glass. Highly textured glasses were used for the blooming lilies and lanterns. The lanterns were plated using multiple layers of rippled glass to give the effect of the folded paper of the Chinese lanterns.

Facial features and hands were hand painted and kiln fired by Bill. Several firings were needed to layer the glass paints to achieve the right look for the hair and skin tones. A second layer of glass was put behind the girl's heads to achieve the glow from the lanterns.

Carnation, Lily, Liy, Rose will be on display in our showroom for a time before moving to its new home.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lamp of the Week : 12 Lily Floor Lamp

At Century Studios, we create Tiffany reproduction Lily Lamps in many different styles. One of our favorites is the 12 Light Lily Floor Lamp. The bronze castings at the base are made using molds taken from an original Tiffany Studios example. Each of the twelve hand twisted stems ends with a blown glass lily. This lamp is currently available in our showroom.