28″ Magnolia, Part 1

With it generous proportions and lush foliage, the 28″ Magnolia is one of the most impressive Tiffany shade designs. Depicting a Saucer Magnolia in full bloom, the dome shaped shade is covered in a fretwork of delicate branches supporting an explosion of flowers. This large shade is usually used with the impressive Sr. Floor base, but can also be used to great effect as a chandelier fixture.This Magnolia shade was commissioned by a southern client.

The 28″ Magnolia is one of the few Tiffany shade designs that regularly features Drapery Glass. This unique glass is shaped and manipulated by hand while it is being rolled resulting in a sheet that has deeply folded and rippled surface. Used for the flowers in this shade, the glass gives added dimension to the large saucer shaped flowers.

Our client requested a classic color scheme for this shade, with white and pink flowers set against a fresh blue springtime sky. In the photo above, we have begun adding the first large drapery glass flowers to the layout.

Bill and Irwin worked closely together to choose the glass for this shade. As with many of our most complicated pieces, over 300 hours will be spent from start to finish on this project. Irwin is shown choosing glass for some of the flowers. Color, texture and transparency of each piece is carefully considered when selecting the glass.

Once all the pieces have been cut by hand and fit to the pattern, many hours are spent wrapping the individual piece of glass a thin copper foil. The copper edging will enable the shade to be soldered together. Bill is shown working on a section of the shade. This time consuming step of the process is very visual, so we often listen to audiobooks during the foiling process. Bill is shown in the main photo doing a final check on the colors before the next stage of this shade’s construction will begin.


More of the construction will follow in upcoming posts.

Written by Century Studios