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.