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 www.nyhsitory.org

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



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Century Studios Hours This Week



Century Studios will be closed Wednesday May 10 through Monday May 15. We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday May 16.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

16" Daffodil


Tiffany Studios created many lamps and windows featuring daffodils because these bright, sunny blooms were Louis C. Tiffany's favorite flower. At Century Studios, we offer eight different Tiffany Daffodil shade designs in sizes ranging from 14" to 28". The 16" Daffodil shade is one of two 16" shades we offer featuring these early springtime flowers.

In this shade, the flowers are unencumbered by the confines of horizontal border rows, giving the impression that you have stepped into a carefree garden with flowers gently moving in the breeze. For this shade, we chose a sunny yellow background glass that deepens to an amber/green mix on the lower portion of the shade. The fresh green leaves and stems provide a crisp contrast to the warm amber tones in the shade.

The shade is shown on the classically styled Greek Urn base. This lamp is currently available for purchase in our showroom.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lamp of the Week: Mermaid w/Nautilus Shell


Mermaids are legendary aquatic half human, half fish creatures that have appeared in folklore and inspired artists of every civilization for thousands of years. The Mermaid w/Nautilus Shell is a unique Tiffany Studios lamp design. The cast bronze mermaid rises out of a churning sea carrying a lighted shell above her head. For this example, commissioned in 2006, we have created a shell that shifts in color from green at the center to off white at its opening.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

18 Light Lily Lamp



At Century Studios, we create a full spectrum of Lily Lamps that include table lamps, floor lamps chandeliers, ceiling fixtures, and wall sconces. These unique lamps are created using a combination of cast bronze parts, hand bent tubing, and mouth blown lily shades. We recently completed an 18 Light Lily Table Lamp for a client in Paris, France.

Bronze parts for these unique lamps are created by the lost wax casting method. Using molds taken from original Tiffany examples, a wax part is molded and then finished by hand. The waxes are taken to our local bronze foundry where they are encased in a mold material which hardens and is then baked to melt the wax out. Molten bronze is then poured into the hot mold and, once it has cooled, the mold is broken away and the raw bronze casting is revealed. After more hand chasing (cleaning), the bronze parts are ready for drilling and tapping to be screwed together and assembled into a finished lamp.


For each lily stem, tubing is hand bent to a specific shape. The stems are positioned and attached to a plate in the configuration specific for each style of lily lamp. The individual parts of the lamp are then given a Tiffany verdigris patina and once assembled and wired, the completed lamps is ready for display.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 22" Nasturtium


Nasturtium flowers are often referred to as the jester of the garden, a moniker that comes from the fact that the word nasturtium literally means "nose twister" or "nose tweaker". These brightly colored ornamental plants are edible, and the flowers and leaves will add a peppery taste to salads and stir fry. The generously proportioned turban shape of the 22" Nasturtium shade provides an expansive canvas for these trailing plants to dance across in cheerful abandon. Saucer shaped leaves co-mingle with a multitude of the distinctly shaped flowers. Commissioned by an East Coast client in 2012, this colorful example was created by skillfully blending together ring mottled, streaky, granite textured, and rippled glasses. The shade is shown on the appropriately named Bird Skeleton base.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

16" Snowball


Often mistakenly called a Hydrangea, this 16" shade takes its inspiration from the Snowball Viburnum. While the Hydrangea has a conical shaped flower, Snowballs have round flower heads that are lime green when they first open and change to white as the flowers mature.

The 16" Snowball shade is covered in flower clusters and has an irregular lower edge, giving the piece a naturalistic look. Heavily ring mottled glass was used throughout this shade to add fullness to the design.  This lamp was commissioned by a client in Illinois and is mated with the unusual Six Light Lily Pad base. Six "stems" ascend from the cast bronze base upward into the shade, each ending in a light. Due to the depth shade, the lights are positioned at two levels within the lamp.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 14" Geometric w/Balls


One of the reasons no one can say exactly how many lamp patterns were produced by Tiffany Studios is because the creative minds at the Studios were always looking for new and interesting variations for their shades. This 14" Geometric w/Balls is an example of how a plain geometric shade is transformed by the addition of a row of three dimensional lustre glass balls. The hand made balls are held in place individually in a oversized jeweler's-style mount, allowing each translucent ball to pick up the light from inside the shade. Shown on the Shell Urn base, the shade was created in 2008 as a showroom piece and is now in a private collection.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 28" Easter Lily


The 28" Easter Lily shade is a Century Studios original shade design which was conceived by Bill Campbell. To bring this highly detailed pattern to life, every type of art glass was employed, including streaky, ring mottle, rippled, fibroid, drapery, and fracture/streamer. The glasses were painstakingly chosen and the colors blended to create an impressionistic view of a garden of lilies in full bloom. This stunning shade was commissioned in 2016 by a client in Illinois and is in their private collection.



Sunday, April 9, 2017

22" Turtleback


We recently completed a 22" Turtleback shade for a client in Colorado. To create the band of three dimensional tiles, we used an unusual set of amber turtlebacks that have hints of green throughout. The geometric background was cut from an amber glass with hints of red, which gives the shade a warm, woody look. The shade, shown on the Perforated base, is being installed as an inverted chandelier in the client's home.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 18" Tyler



Commissioned by a New Jersey client in 2014, this 18" Tyler shade has an inviting personality. The playful amber and green scrolling ribbon breaks up the green geometric background, which is deeper at the top and lightens on the lower portion of the shade. Warm amber is used at the bottom of the design for balance. The shade is shown on the classic Decorated Trumpet base.




Sunday, April 2, 2017

1000th Shade


When we opened our studio on June 1, 1986, we began keeping records of all the shades we have created. This past week, we completed our 1000th shade - a 16" Woodbine. This pattern has a geometric background that emulates a fence or trellis shape while the colorful woodbine leaves (also known as Virginia Creeper) clustered on the lower half of the shade.

Woodbine shades are the perfect canvas for showcasing unusually colorful glass, and this shade takes full advantage of the opportunity to employ impressionistic coloration. Beginning at the top with a heavily mottled, multicolored background glass that shifts from lush amber tinted with red, pink, and green, the background color switches to a fiery red at the bottom. Emboldened by the striking color shift in the background, the leaf clusters are a wild mix of colors inspired by the plant itself which dramatically turns from green to red as cooler temperatures nip the air in the autumn.

This 16" Woodbine was created as a showroom piece and is shown on the Leaf & Bud w/Collar Pottery Base. It is available for purchase in our showroom.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Window of the Week: Hylas and the Water Nymphs



Commissioned in 2001 by a local client, Hylas and the Nymphs is inspired by the 1896 painting by John William Waterhouse. The painterly color effects of shadow and light in this highly detailed window were achieved by using two and three layers of glass. The figures were hand painted by Bill Campbell using powdered minerals which were then kiln fired onto the surface of the glass. This 3' x 5' window is one of the most complex windows we have created at our studio.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

18" Oriental Poppy


The 18" Oriental Poppy is an intricately detailed Tiffany Studios lamp design. Showy poppies in full bloom spill over the decorative border rows. For this shade, the flowers are rendered in striking reds with purple flower centers. The leaves are a mix of verdant greens mixed with red, orange, and blue highlights. Intermingling fracture, streaky, and ring mottled glass produce a sun dappled effect. The top of the shade shows beautiful blue sky peaking through the flowers. Commissioned by a client in California, the shade is shown on the Seven Handled Pottery base.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lamp of the Week: 14" Tulip



This 14" Tulip is a small shade with a large personality. The lively flowers and vivid leaves dance merrily across a field of multicolored blues in a burst of springtime merriment. The shade, shown on the Mushroom base, was created as a showroom piece in 2013 and is now in a private collection.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lamps in Production


As often happens, we are busy working on several projects at once in the studio. The first is a 14" Dragonfly shade in tones of yellow green shading to vivid blue. This lamp have been cut and fit and is shown on the light table.

Bill was busy over the weekend soldering the inside of an 18" Oriental Poppy shade that will be heading to California next week.

An exuberantly colored 16" Woodbine shade is also cut and fit and ready for foiling. We will show the completed shades in upcoming posts.