This fun Union Jack stained glass commission was the result of a request to create a modern table lamp for a lady who is mad about everything ‘Union Jack’. She even has Union Jack cupboard handles and Union Jack DM boots…
Her sister asked me to design the lamp as a gift for her 50th birthday. Rather than recreate the whole flag, I decided to split it horizontally, to recreate the iconic design across two sides of the lamp.
The buyer was very happy with this idea and the sketch I sent, so I proceeded to choose the most suitable types of glass for the project. As light would be shining through from a bulb, translucent glasses were the best option, as they would glow beautifully, while hiding the light fittings inside. I selected a rich red, solid white and navy blue glass and set about making the pattern.
You may assume that the British national flag is symmetrical in design but, if you look at it closely, you will see it is not, as the thinner, red lines sit in different positions on the white backgrounds. As I knew the recipient of the stained glass lamp was undoubtedly an expert on the design of the flag, I was careful to recreate this difference in the finished design.
I added a glass ‘shelf’ inside, near the bottom of the lamp, to support the light fitting, and cut a small hole in the back glass panels to allow space for the switched flex. It is important to address the practicalities in the design.
The lamp was destined to live on a houseboat that was, as you would imagine, decorated throughout with a Union Jack theme. Officially the British flag is actually named the Union Flag, and only called the Union Jack when hoisted at sea. However, as this lamp is now at home on the water, I think the Union Jack title fits :).
I am pleased to report that the purchaser and her sister were delighted with the resulting lamp – and so was I! Not every lamp I make is in the traditional Tiffany style and I always enjoy making something I have never made before.