Iris Lantern, Part 1

At Century Studios, we have many ideas for projects we would like to complete. Often, these pieces can take years to come to fruition. One such  project on our list has been the Iris Lantern. Tiffany Studios only created a small number of these large hanging fixtures.

Various factors come into play with a project of this scale, including finding the right artist to collaborate with for the creation of the specialty parts needed. About ten years ago, we began a conversation with sculptor Nick McArdell (pictured with the finished bronze casting) about carving the intricate framework for the lantern. The Tiffany Iris Lantern is an impressive, six sided hanging light and each of the six sides are unique.

Once we had secured images of all the sides of the lantern, the three of us began to work on the full sized mock-ups for the fixture and glass panels. Nick made a three dimensional framework on which he could sculpt the leaves, roots and the intricate bottom door. The above photo shows the progress on the roots for the underside of the lantern.

When Nick had completed sculpting the framework, we took it to our bronze foundry to have molds made of each element. We then used the molds to pour waxes, which were used by the foundry to cast the final framework in bronze. 

Having the cast bronze framework in hand was a major crossroads in the journey of this fixture, but there was still a good deal to do in order to complete the lantern. 

To be continued…

Written by Century Studios