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.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

18" Clematis

The 18" Clematis is a beautifully designed Tiffany shade with a non-repeating pattern that is covered in large flowers. For this shade, purple and blue flowers are set against a green fracture glass background. In addition to ring mottled and streaky glass, rippled glass appears throughout the shade in the flowers, leaves, and flower centers. Much of the glass used for this shade was pulled from our dwindling stash of Lins and Schlitz glass. The shade is shown on the Small Stick base. Created as a showroom piece, this lamp was briefly on display and is now in a private local collection.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Persian

Commissioned by a client in Kentucky in 2012, the 16" Persian with Chain Mail shade is a geometric lamp with an exotic look. With its decorative band of arabesques set against a geometric background, the shade is both playful and elegant. The addition of the Chain Mail borders gives the shade an additional layer of interest. We can add Chain Mail to almost any shade, and it is especially effective on chandelier fixtures. The shade is shown on the willowy Grooved base.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

49 Light Lily Ceiling Fixture

At Century Studios, we create a variety of lily style fixtures that include table lamps, floor lamps, chandelier and ceiling fixtures. The largest ceiling fixture that we make is the 49 Light Lily. At 48" across, this fixture has a "wow factor" that few ceiling lights can match. We have created this fixture as a showroom piece and it is currently on display at the studio and available for immediate purchase.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 18" Oak Leaf

The generously proportioned 18" Oak Leaf shade has a curved upper portion and straight sides, giving it a maximum of surface area. Bookmarked above and below with geometric rows, the swirling leaves and acorns are arranged decoratively rather than realistically in the wide floral band. The green leaves are tinged with amber, and the rich nut brown of the acorns stand out against the richly mottled background. This shade, commissioned in 2013 by a client in New York, is shown on the tall Budding Urn pottery base.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

14" Dragonfly

This warm amber 14" Dragonfly shade provides a welcoming glow to any room. Six green bodied dragonflies with filigreed wings fly between multi colored half round jewels which provide a pop of color. The shade is shown on the square Chinese base. This lamp is currently available for purchase in our showroom.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 14" Chestnut

At Century Studios, we occasionally create original shade designs such as this 14" Chestnut pattern that was designed by Bill Campbell in 2011. This example, which was made in 2014 and is now in a private collection, is intensely colored. The vibrant blue sky is tinged with purple and wisps of white, setting off the multi-toned green foliage and the pink/red/white flowers. The shade is shown on the Mushroom base.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

16" Turtleback

The 16" Turtleback is one of our more popular sizes of turtleback shade that we offer. The amber tones of the turtleback band are echoed in the Square Turtleback base. Both shade and the cast bronze base are made at our studio. This lamp was commissioned by a client in Maine.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Fish

The 16" Fish is one of Tiffany Studios' more unusual pond theme shade motifs. The shade features five elongated Koi gently gliding across the surface of the shade amid water plants. This example, created in 2015 for an out of state client, used a lightly textured glass for the water and the vivid coloration of the Koi is reflected in the floating plant life. The shade is shown on the striking Lily Pad - Blown Glass and Bronze base.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

20" Lily Pad

Water plants and flowers were frequent inspirations for Tiffany lamp designs. The 20" Lily Pad shade shows a stylized pool where leaves float on the surface of gently swirling water. This is the only Tiffany shade design that is drawn in deep perspective with smaller pads appearing in the upper distance and becoming steadily larger towards the lower edge of the shade. The effect is mesmerizing and tranquil. An underline of half round glass jewels forms the lower border of the shade, making it even more unusual. To complete the water/marsh theme, the shade is shown on the highly detailed Cattail base. This lamp was commissioned by an international client.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 28" Grape

The distinctive foliage and plentiful fruit produced by climbing grape vines were a popular motif in Tiffany windows and lamps. This 28" Grape design is a variation on the 28" Grape Trellis shade, and we were able to obtain this rare non-repeating pattern from an original Tiffany lamp in a local collection. For this example, grapes in deep blues and purples cluster freely about the shade amid rich green foliage set against a lightly textured blue/purple/green background. Created in 2002 as a showroom piece, the shade is now in a private collection in Iowa.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Small Geometric Shades

In between larger projects we are often creating smaller geometric shades. Here is a selection of smaller shades we have recently completed.

A striking red glass was used for this 7" Geometric shade. The shade was mated with our Piano Lamp base to create an accent lamp with a distinctive profile. Shade and base were commissioned by a local client.

This pair of 7" Geometric shades in a light green mottled glass were commissioned by a local client to be used on an original Tiffany Studios double student lamp.

A warm amber glass was used for this 7" Geometric with Chain Mail that is being used as a pendant fixture by a client in Colorado.

The same Colorado client also commissioned this 12" Geometric in a deeper green/amber glass. The shade is shown on the Pony Tree Trunk base.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 16" Vine Ornament

With its wide band of swirling leaves, the 16" Vine Ornament shade is a a nice transition between a floral and geometric style of shade. We created this shade in 2006 from a lively green and yellow glass. The leaves were cut from a ripple glass, which enhances the windswept movement of the design. The shade is shown on the Cereus base.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

14" Dragonfly

The 14" Dragonfly shade is the smallest of the Tiffany dragonfly themed shades we create. This example, commissioned by a client in Puerto Rico, is boldly colored. Starting at the top, the shade shifts from light green, through deeper green tones and into a vibrant cobalt blue at the bottom. The iridescent blue mosaic on the Dragonfly Stemmed Mosaic Base perfectly compliments the shade.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lamp of the Week - 20" Azalea

The 20" Azalea shade has several features that give it a unique personality. The modified turban shape compliments the dense tangle of flowering branches. Abundant leaves, buds and flowers cover the shade creating a complex picture of this distinctive bush in full springtime bloom. The open flowers also have an unusual detail where three dimensional beads of sculpted solder represent the flower centers. This example, created for an Ohio client in 2014, is shown on the stylized Root base.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

28" Hollyhock

Louis Comfort Tiffany liked accuracy in the scale of flowers depicted on his shades. Consequently, the generous size of a large Tiffany Studios 28" cone-shaped shade is the perfect vehicle for featuring hollyhock flowers. We just completed this 28" Hollyhock shade.

Hollyhocks come in over 60 varieties, and their tall erect stalks blossom with flowers in a rainbow of colors. Because of their height and showy blooms, hollyhocks are best planted in home gardens as a background flower. In the Victorian language of flowers, hollyhocks represent fertility and ambition.

Large floral shades always take a lot of planning and digging through our glass options to execute successfully. To create this shade, we dug deep into our library of glass to find a dazzling variety of colors and textures to bring the shade to life. The green/blue sky glass was made by Schlitz Studios almost 30 years ago. The glass has a medium transparency that is enhanced by a delicate surface mottle that traps the light within a slight haze.

Flower colors for this shade represent the full spectrum found in nature. Red, pink, white, yellow, purple and peach tones coexist in harmony above deepening green foliage. Ring mottled, streaky, and rippled glasses were employed together to create a pleasing blend of colors and textures. A lush green rippled glass by Schlitz Studios was used for the lower border row to give the shade a visual anchor from which the flowers ascend.

Primarily used as chandelier fixtures, 28" cone shades such as this also make dramatic table or floor lamps. We created this Hollyhock shade as a showroom piece, and intended to hang it as a chandelier fixture. While waiting for an opportunity to hang the shade, we displayed it on the Perforated base. A client visiting our showroom liked the combination so much that this lamp will now be on display in their home as shown.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The New York Historical Society Tiffany Lamp Gallery

Last week, we visited the New York Historical Society to view the remodeled Tiffany Lamp Gallery. The gallery showcases 100 Tiffany lamps from the collection of Dr. Egon Neustadt which are now once again on permanent display in the newly designed two story setting.

Dr. Egon Neustadt and his wife purchased their first Tiffany lamp in1935 at a second hand shop in Greenwich Village for $12.50. This Daffodil lamp ignited a passion for collecting that would span five decades. Their collection eventually included over 300 examples of Tiffany lamps, as well as windows, sheet glass, and other decorative works by the studio. Hildegard Neustadt died in 1961 and Dr. Neustadt continued to expand the collection until his death in 1986.

The Neustadts acquired as many Tiffany lamps as possible, often purchasing multiple examples of shades of the same pattern, but in different color combinations. The couple collected at a time when there was no internet and no reference books to acquire information about Tiffany Studios, relying on dealers and their own expertise to guide them. In 1970 Dr. Neustadt published The Lamps of Tiffany which cataloged the collection. Even though the book has only ever had two printings, it is still considered an essential volume on Tiffany lamps due to the depth of the collection and the information provided on each piece.

In 1983, Dr. Neustadt displayed a significant portion of his Tiffany collection in an exhibition at the New York Historical Society. He was so delighted with the installation that he donated all the works on display to the NYHS shortly before his death. We toured the exhibition in the late 80's and were blown away by the quality and variety of the lamps on display. One of the unusual  features of that exhibition was that many of the 28" chandelier cones were displayed upside down on the ceiling, which made viewing the pieces difficult.

The newly redesigned gallery displays over 100 lamps, as well as windows, blown glass, mosaics, and pottery by Tiffany Studios. The two story space allows for close inspection of the each lamp, and many of the lamps on the first floor can be viewed from the second floor, giving the viewer a unique perspective to see the lamps. Studying the lamps from above is much easier than trying to view them upside down on the ceiling!

For more information on the New York Historical Society and the Neustadt collection, visit

Photos for this post by Bill Campbell and M. Brian Hartz Photography