The Unparalleled Craftsmanship of the Tiffany Lamp
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rob_Mabry/345940]Rob Mabry
With a focus on precision and craftsmanship, the Tiffany Lamp established its pedigree as a meticulously created furnishing that was also a piece of art. Louis C. Tiffany's watchful eye ensured that his vision was followed to the letter by his team of more than 300 artisans within Tiffany Studios. However, somewhere in the nearly anonymous glass cutting department of Tiffany Studios, another original designer and artist was ready to put her stamp on the history of the Tiffany lamp.
Clara Driscoll, an accomplished artist herself and head of the Women's Glass Cutting Department at Tiffany Studios, was recently discovered to be the driving force behind some of the most celebrated Tiffany lamp designs envisioned at Tiffany Studios.
The process of building an individual Tiffany lamp was a painstaking endeavor. The designs can be separated into six variations based on the patterns and methods used to create the lamp.
Irregular Upper & Lower Border
Transition to Flowers
The irregular upper and lower border Tiffany style lamps were the most complex to produce. This style was sophisticated, with uneven borders, and an openwork crown that was designed to mimic tree branches. Heat and light vented through the top crown. The popular Wisteria pattern is one example of this style of Tiffany lamp. It is the one of the most valuable patterns, still sought out today by collectors.
Favrile was the first style that Tiffany created and coined. Favrile means handcrafted. This patented design is recognizable by its iridescent colored glass that was melded together while at extreme heat. Not only was this Favrile process used for lamp shades, but for Tiffany stained glass and vases.
The geometric category was mainly created by male artisans that Tiffany employed. With a focus on various geometrical characteristics, the lamp shades were created in a symmetrical pattern. The Greek Key pattern is a a well-known example of this type of work.
Transition to flowers is subdivided into the flowered cone and flowered globe categories. All of these lamps use flowers, spiders, butterflies, peacock feathers and dragonflies to project natural and botanical themes. Dragonfly is a renowned Tiffany style lamp that was created by Driscoll that falls in this category.
Every Tiffany lamp was created using the copper foil method. The pattern was drawn out of a heavy piece of cardboard. After the pattern was drawn and labeled with a number and color, the glass was put in placed based on the design and traced. The pieces were then cut and ground to create the shapes. The pieces were then cleaned in preparation for the copper foil solution that was added to join the pieces together. With the addition of the copper foil solution, the glass was joined together. The edges were then soldered together, and finally the lamp shade was cleaned and polished.
Unique in its innovative approach to furnishings, Tiffany Studios maintained a persistent vision to craft one-of-a-kind masterpieces that brought light to the American home. These attributes of innovative and uncompromising quality are the reason why Tiffany lamps are sought and admired to this day.
Rob Mabry is a former Army journalist, writer and entrepreneur who enjoys writing about art, history, and interior design.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Unparalleled-Craftsmanship-of-the-Tiffany-Lamp&id=3036575] The Unparalleled Craftsmanship of the Tiffany Lamp