Alongside all the Tiffany-style lamp repairs I tackle for customers, I also make new Tiffany lamps to commission. One recent project was to be a present for a lady’s 60th birthday.
Initially, the customer approached me wanting a unique lampshade featuring poppies, which are her mother’s favourite flower. However, when she saw one of my previous designs, comprising leaf shapes in autumnal colours, she decided her mother would love a shade like that.
We agreed to bring the original colour scheme from the poppies design across to the leaf design. This meant it would be made from red, orange, green, white, cream and brown stained glass pieces.
I cut all the leaf shapes by hand, removing any rough edges with a grinder. I used the traditional copper foil technique to build the shade, which involves wrapping the edge of each piece of stained glass in a narrow strip of copper tape and pressing the overlap firmly into place on each side. As you will appreciate, this is a slow and fiddly process.
I built the shade on a fibreglass mould, initially spot soldering each glass piece into place. This design is quite organic, so the leaves were positioned where it felt right, at the same time ensuring there was a balance of colours around the shade.
Next, customised pieces were cut and added to the design where there were gaps. Then the whole shade was soldered together securely inside and out. The edges were deliberately left uneven to continue the sense of naturalness.
The solder was blacked to define the design and contrast with the rich colours of the stained glass.
Following discussion with the client, I sourced a lamp base to suit the style of the shade.
As soon as it was lit up, the warm colours of this new Tiffany lamp really came alive.
This piece was finished in time for the lady’s mother’s special day and she was reportedly “a very happy birthday girl”. It’s always lovely to hear that a bespoke piece has been well received.
If you would like a special lampshade or other stained glass item made, do get in touch (without obligation) to discuss your idea: email@example.com or call 01329 830172.