22″ Laburnum, Part 1

Tiffany Studios took inspiration from all types of colorful plants for its lamp designs. The Laburnum shade was made in several sizes and represents the flowering tree with stunning trailing flowers that is commonly known as the “Golden Chain Tree” (laburnum photo courtesy of Susan Campbell Noran). We were commissioned by a client in Florida to create a 22″ Laburnum.

With just under 2000 individual pieces of glass, the 22″ Laburnum shade is one of the most time consuming shades we create. Each piece of glass in this complex pattern is individually laid out, hand cut, and precisely fit to the pattern. Two thirds of the shade are shown on the light table, where we double check our glass selection before assembling the shade.

The outside edge of each piece of glass gets individually wrapped with a thin copper foil. The foiled pieces are then transferred onto the three dimensional form and are held in place with our house made tacky beeswax. Once each piece has been fit onto the form, we begin soldering the shade. Once the exterior has been completely soldered, the form is heated so the wax will melt and release the shade from the form.


All large shades have a network of copper reinforcement wires soldered along the lead lines inside the shade to add additional strength to the lamp. In addition to the vertical reinforcement wires, the horizontal reinforcement can be seen in the above photo. Irwin is in the process of adding a half round copper wire to the lower edge of the shade, which will provide strength to the irregular edge and also give it a finished look.

The completed lamp will be shown in an upcoming post.

Written by Century Studios