18″ Wisteria, Part 1

The 18″ Wisteria lamp is one of Tiffany Studios’ signature shade designs. This elaborate shade has close to 2000 individual pieces of glass, each of which must be carefully considered during the glass selection process. Commissioned by a client in North Carolina, Bill Campbell began the layout for the shade in early December.

The glass selection for any lamp is the most important part of the process and one of us will be “in charge” of the glass selection and layout. Both of us work together on cutting and fitting a lamp, especially on a large shade like this one. The glass colors are chosen and thoughtfully composed using our light tables, and each piece of glass is cut and fit to the pattern by hand.

With the cutting and fitting completed in January, Bill and Irwin Terry settled in with a few audio books to begin foiling the lamp. Due to the number of pieces in this lamp, every step takes a considerable amount of time, skill and patience to complete.

Once all the pieces are foiled, the project shifts from a two person project to a single artist endeavor. Irwin is seen transferring the foiled pieces onto our lamp form which had been covered in our house made sticky beeswax.

Irwin then begins the process of soldering the shade together. The lamp still has a way to go before it is completed, but arriving at the soldering stage on a large shade like this one always feels like a milestone moment. 

Written by Century Studios