Sunday, October 15, 2017

25" Fish Scale

We are pleased to introduce a new pattern to our ever expanding list of Tiffany reproduction lamp designs. The 25" Fish Scale shade is a helmet shaped shade that can be used as a large table lamp, a floor lamp, or an impressive chandelier fixture. As a chandelier fixture, the shade would work equally well hanging from a single chain, or inverted. The shade is shown on the Twisted Vine base at the top of the post.

The color of the shade has a subtle transition from denser green glass at the top into a lighter green/amber mix for the lower two thirds of the lamp. Commissioned by a West Coast client, we created a monumental pottery base for this piece. The 32" tall base sits on a bronze pedestal and has a Grueby-style green curdled glaze. The resulting shade and base make a bold decorating statement. Tiffany Studios often used pottery by the Massachusetts based Grueby Fiaence Pottery for lamp bases.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Black Eyed Susan

The 16" Black Eyed Susan is one of several Tiffany Studios shade designs that features clusters of flowers against a geometric background. Rather than being presented against a naturalistic setting, the flowers are presented in the style of a botanical drawing. The background glass shifts from white at the top down to a lively green, setting off the warm tones of the flowers. Created in 2006, the shade is shown on the Small Stick base. The simple lines of this base make it a perfect mate to most 16" and 18" shades.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

22" Dragonfly

It is always exciting to create a 22" Dragonfly shade. The endless variety of color combinations available for this design make each example fresh. The generously sized shade is studded with pressed glass jewels, which provides additional color accents and sparkle to the finished lamp. The deep blue and green background for this shade was created using Lins glass. The Lins Glass Foundry went out of business in the late 1990's and we recently acquired this glass as part of a small private stash of sheet glass. Commissioned by a California client, the shade is shown on the Perforated base. This base has six lights and can be telescoped to be taller.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Fern

Boldly symmetrical, yet surprisingly organic, the 16" Fern is a most unusual Tiffany Studios lamp pattern. The strong graphic sensibility of the design stays true to the plant it represents while calling to mind Tiffany's Moorish style lighting fixtures that rely on sculpted wire work. This glass chosen for this piece is a subtle variation of two greens. Shown on the Pond Lily - Blown Glass and Bronze base, this lamp was commissioned in 2007 by a Midwest client.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

15" Bell Lotus

The 15" Bell Lotus shade is an unusual Tiffany Studios lamp pattern. The shade is the junior version of the 25" Mandarin Lotus shade, and in both patterns the surface of the shade undulates in an accordion pleat. Applied wire work on the peaks of each pleat and an irregular lower edge accentuates the sculptural feel of this lamp.  The coloration for this shade shifts from spring green down to white. The Ribbed Harp base mimics the profile of the shade. This lamp was commissioned by a California client.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 18" Turtleback

Commissioned by a Texas client in 2011, this 18" Turtleback shade has an unusual shape. The  upper portion begins as a low dome that finishes with straight sides on the lower half of the shade. The turtleback tiles in the decorative band are narrow and wide, accentuating the horizontal look of the shade. This shade is made from a rippled glass in yellow green/spring green that has hints of light blue throughout. The rippled surface of the glass faces the interior of the shade, so when unlit the shade appears smooth and comes to life when illuminated. The shade is shown on the Decorated Library base.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Arts & Crafts Show

Visit Century Studios and many other dealers at the 18th Annual Arts & Crafts Show today from 11 - 4. The show is held in the Progress Center at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Studio Hours, Arts & Crafts Show

Century Studios will be closed Friday & Saturday, September 22 & 23. You can visit us at our booth during the 18th Annual Arts & Crafts Show which is held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in the Progress Center. Show hours are Saturday 9 - 5, Sunday 11 - 4.

This show always has an eclectic mix of dealers specializing in antique and new furnishings and home accessories in the Arts & Crafts and Mid-Century Modern traditions.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

14" Dragonfly on Chinese Base

The 14" Dragonfly shade is one of our most popular lamp patterns. This compact shade showcases six filigreed dragonflies, pressed glass jewels, and can be created in any coloration. For this piece, the shade begins at the top with a grassy green that quickly blends into cobalt blue. The green dragonflies have textured purple wings tinged with blue. The shade, commissioned by a local client, is shown on the square Chinese base.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Dogwood

Due to its subtle coloration, this 16" Dogwood shade has a light and airy personality. The blend of subtle pink, light green, and light blue is calm and refreshing. The shade is shown on the Flower Petal lamp base. Both shade and base were made at our studio. Created in 2002 as a showroom piece, this lamp is now in a local collection.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017 Arts & Crafts Show

Century Studios will be participating in the 18th Annual Arts & Crafts Show held in the Progress Center at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds on September 23 & 24. For more information and a list of participating dealers, visit

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Peacock

The 16" Peacock shade consists entirely of showy peacock feathers overlapping one another on a diagonal in a swirl of color and movement. For this shade, deep cobalt blue blends downwards into purple, then light blue. An underline of green defines the lower edge of the shade. The shade is shown on the elegant Lion's Foot base. This base can be made taller by raising the central telescoping slide. We created this example in 2014 as a showroom piece and it is now in a private collection.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Turtleback Lanterns

In April we created several Turtleback Hanging Lanterns w/Swirls for different clients. The lanterns are cast in bronze here at our studio using molds taken from an original Tiffany example. While green is a popular turtleback color, we often use other colors for lanterns and shades. The lantern with the dark cherry red turtleback tiles was created for a client in California. The lantern with the light golden turtleback tiles was made for a local client.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

22" Elaborate Peony, Additional Photos

Here are some additional photos of the 22" Elaborate Peony shade we featured in the previous post. 

Due to the coloration and the way the flowers are clustered, this shade has a different look from many angles.  Like an Impressionist painting, this lamp grabs your attention and draws you closer whereupon the brushstrokes of color in each individual piece of glass are revealed.

When viewed up close, the variety of the glass used stimulates the eye. What appears as blended color from a distance becomes distinct individual colors that support and play against one another as the viewer approaches.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

22" Elaborate Peony

Tiffany Studios produced many window and lamp designs featuring Peony flowers. The large, showy blooms come in a variety of colors ranging from white, pink, deep fuchsia, and vivid red. There are even varieties that produce yellow, peach, and blue flowers. In China, the peony was the national flower until 1929 and came to represent nobility, honor and wealth. Other mythologies include the flower being a symbol of the moon, bashfulness, and medicinal healing.

The 22" Elaborate Peony shade is one of Tiffany Studios' masterpiece designs. The intricate blending of leaf and flower provide endless fascination and inspiration to the glass artist. This pattern is often referred to as the Windswept Peony because of its delicate piecework.

This shade was commissioned by a client in New York who requested a bold color palette with vibrant blues and reds. Bill Campbell did the glass selection which includes ring mottled, streaky, ripple, and fracture/streamer glasses, all skillfully blended together to create the shade. Glasses from every manufacturer harmoniously coexist, each bringing a different point of interest to the finished composition. The completed layout is shown on the light table in the photo above.

Both Bill and Irwin Terry worked to complete the shade once the layout was completed. Bill is shown foiling each individual piece of glass by hand, a painstaking and time consuming task that requires attention to detail and a deft hand. Since foiling is a visual task, so we often listen to audio books while completing this task. Irwin is seen transferring the foiled pieces of glass onto the lamp form. The individual pieces are held in place with our special house-made tacky beeswax.

Once the exterior of the shade has been soldered, the wax is melted and the shade is removed so the interior can be soldered. All large shades like this one are given several copper reinforcement wires which are soldered in place along the leadlines on the interior of the shade. These wires provide the invisible strength that will keep the shade in tact for the next hundred years. Once the soldering is complete, the shade is copper plated and a verdigris patina turns the silver colored lead lines a rich red/brown/green that matches the patina on the lamp base.

The completed shade was mated with the large Library base. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 20" Nasturtium

Tiffany Studios created stained glass shades in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The low mushroom cap dome of the 20" Nasturtium shade is the perfect vehicle to showcase the plant's large saucer shaped leaves and brightly colored flowers. The shade has a non-repeating design and is shown on the Decorated Library base. We created this example in 2001 as a showroom piece and it is now in a private collection.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

10" Turtleback

This 10" Turtleback lamp was commissioned by a client in Maine. The warm amber tones of the thick, hand cut turtlebacks glow against the mottled amber geometric background. The 8 Legged Harp base is the perfect combination for this shade. The base has a slide which can be raised and lowered.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Pansy

The 16" Pansy shade features four clusters of delicately detailed flowers set against a geometric background. Pansies come in a wide variety of vibrant colors ranging from orange and red, to blue and yellow, and even black and white. The shade is shown on the Lily Pad, Pottery & Bronze base which was created at our studio, the two tone pottery insert being made to our specifications by Ephraim Faience Pottery. This colorful lamp was created in 2006 as a showroom piece and is in a private Midwest collection.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wisteria Lamps Completed

After several months of dedicated work, we have completed the pair of matching white 18" Wisteria lamps. These elegant lamps were commissioned by an international client.

Each shade has close to 2000 individual pieces of hand cut glass, and each required close to 300 hours to complete. A study Tree Trunk base supports each shade by mating with an openwork crown of cast bronze branches. Sculptural branches insinuate themselves from the crown into the upper portion of the glasswork, giving the top of the lamps a three dimensional look.

Green leaves give way to cascading flowers which blend together in a subtle shades of white, off white, lavender, periwinkle blue, and moonstone. The signature irregular lower edge is a delicate touch that finishes each shade.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Glass Buying

Last week we traveled to the Chicago area to buy glass. Our wholesaler has a wide selection of hand rolled art glass by all the major manufacturers to choose from, and we were able to pick many choice sheets to add to our in-studio library of glass. On a glass buying trip, we typically select one cart full (both sides) to be packed and shipped back to the studio, but on this trip we found many exceptional offerings and selected twice as many pieces as we typically acquire. Each sheet of glass is hand selected by Irwin Terry and Bill Campbell. The sheets are carefully removed from their bins, walked to a light box to be viewed, and are then either added to the cart or returned to the proper bin. This process is time consuming and exciting, as well as being mentally and physically exhausting.The glass has been crated and is on its way to the studio.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Studio Hours

Century Studios will be closed Wednesday August 2 through Monday August 7. We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday August 8.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

18" Wisteria, Part 2

Our post from July 23 showed the first half of the process for our 18" Wisteria shade. We have been commissioned to create a matching pair of 18" Wisteria lamps, so while Irwin continued with the soldering of lamp number one, Bill began cutting the second lamp. Since this is to be a matched pair, both lamps had to be laid out simultaneously. The 1945 pieces for the second lamp are shown in the photo above, ready for cutting.

Once all the pieces are cut, fit, foiled and transferred onto the waxed form, the soldering begins. Soldering a Wisteria shade presents several unique challenges. The heavy cast crown at the top prevents Irwin from using our shade holder while soldering, so the shade must be carefully positioned on our soldering table. Once the exterior has been completely soldered, the top crown is re-positioned and permanently attached to the top of the shade. This shade also has cast metal branches that extend downwards from the crown, and these also need be for soldered in place before the shade can be removed from the form.

With the crown in place, the shade becomes very top heavy and care must be taken when moving it into position for soldering the interior.  A network of reinforcing wires, added to the inside of the shade, provide additional strength to the piece. Positioned to follow the curvature of the lead lines of the pattern, the wires become invisible support for the finished shade . Once all the reinforcement is in place, the interior soldering of the shade is completed. The final step in the soldering process is to add a half round copper wire to the lower edge of the shade. This edge provides strength and stability and also visually finishes the bottom of the shade.

We have been working steadily for the past two months on this project and are nearing completion on both lamps. The finished lamps will be shown in a later post.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 10" Pony Wisteria

While we are working on the pair of 18" Wisteria lamps, we thought we would take a look back at a 10" Pony Wisteria we created in 2012. The shade is topped with a cast bronze crown from which the flowers cascade downwards, intermingling with leaves and branch work, finally ending in an irregular lower border. For this lamp, we blended bold blues and greens with subtle white and lavender tones to create a rich color pallet. This gnarled Pony Tree Trunk base was designed by Tiffany Studios specifically for this shade. This lamp was created as a showroom piece and is now in a private collection.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

18" Wisteria, Part 1

The 18" Wisteria is instantly recognizable as the signature Tiffany Studios lamp design. With close to 2000 individual pieces of glass that cascade from the cast bronze crown at the top and end with an irregular lower edge, the shade is a masterpiece of lighting design.

We have been commissioned to create a pair of matching 18" Wisteria lamps, and they have been taking most of our time this summer. Each shade will take approximately 300 hours to complete. At the top o the post, the first shade is shown laid out on the light table ready for foiling. Irwin is seen foiling the shade in the second photo. Because of the large number of pieces, every step takes multiple days to complete.

Once every piece of glass has been foiled, they are individually transferred onto of form in preparation for soldering. The form is coated with our house-made wax that is tacky enough to hold every piece in place. The bronze crown can be seen at the top, and the gaps in the glass will be filled in with cast metal branches that extend down into the design.

We will show more images from this time consuming project in future posts.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 20" Poppy

The 20" Poppy is one of Tiffany Studios most versatile designs. The scale of the shade allows it to be used as a table lamp, chandelier fixture, or small floor lamp. This example has brilliant red and yellow flowers set against a colorful blue background. The pierced metal filigrees on the flower centers and leaves give the shade an added layer of interest. This shade was commissioned in 2005 and is shown on the elegant Lion's Foot base. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Several Geometric Lamps

In between some larger floral shades, we recently completed several geometric shades. The 7" Geometric shade was made from a deep red glass. This shade was created for an antique Student Lamp base. Originally a shiny brass oil lamp, the base has been electrified and we applied a verdigris patina to the piece. This complete lamp is currently available for purchase in our showroom.

The next two geometric shades are 16" Geometric with Triangles. Both shades are shown on the classic Small Stick base. The first shade was commissioned by a local client. The glass of this deep amber shade is heavily mottled, giving the shade an antique appearance.

The second 16" Geometric with Triangles is made from a contemporary style glass that is a mix of bright orange and chartreuse. The strong red in the triangle band accentuates the modern feel of this shade. This shade is currently available for purchase in our showroom.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Project of the Week: Autumn Screen

One of our more ambitious projects of the past was to recreate Tiffany Studios' Autumn Folding Screen. The original screen was on display for many years at the Lillian Nassau Gallery in New York City, so we were able to study the piece in person during our annual visits. We created this impressive screen in 1999 as a showroom piece. The screen was displayed in the 2007 ASID Design Show House in St. Paul and it is now in a private collection in Beverly Hills, California.

This project posed many exciting challenges, the first of which was to have the seven foot tall hinged framework made in metal by a local craftsman. Bill Campbell then drew full sized cartoons for the screen, and we began production of the panels.

The glass selected represented the best glass being made in the 1990's, and examples of every maker are included. Color, texture and transparency were carefully considered for each piece. Two layers of plating were used in portions of the upper panels to create depth and interest. The grapes were made from half round jewels that were then plated to create the subtle color variations in the clusters. The panels of green rippled glass at the bottom of the screen were done in the same Kokomo glass that was used in the original screen.