After many weeks of diligent work, Irwin has completed the 18″ Lotus Lamp. Soldering the shade began once all the pieces of glass were cut, fit and foiled by hand (see blog posts from November 3 & 10). Soldering shades with tiny pieces takes extra time and patience so that the solder does not obscure the minute pieces of glass. Special care had to be taken towards the top of the shade where the pieces are especially long and narrow.
Once the outside of the shade was completely soldered, the form with the shade attached was heated so the wax, which held the individual pieces in place before being soldered, would melt and let go. Irwin gently lifts the hot form out of the soldered shade in the photo below.
The next step in construction was to solder an extensive system of reinforcement wires to the inside inside of the shade. These copper wires add strength to the finished shade, but are not visible on the outside when the shade is lit. Reinforcement wires are positioned along the interior lead lines and soldered in place. The rest of the interior then had to be soldered before the the shade was ready to be cleaned, copper plated and finally patinated.
Next posting: The completed lamp!! Here is a sneak preview of what the finished shade looks like: