Monday, April 28, 2008

The Wonderful World of Tiffany

Home decor styles and trends change like the wind. Ideas, colors, looks, everything changes from season to season but the one thing that has stayed the same and stood the tests of time are Tiffany Lamps.

The first Tiffany lamp was created in the late 1890s by Louis Comfort Tiffany. He was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of the famous Tiffany and Company.
Louis was a painter and became interesting in glassmaking in 1875. He worked at several glasshouses in Brooklyn until 1878 and then in 1879 he joined Candace Wheeler, Samual Colman and Lockwood de Forest to establish Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists. The company thrived but Louis still had a strong desire to work in art glass. In 1885 the firm broke up and Tiffany established Tiffany Glass Company. It became known as Tiffany Studios in 1902.

When he first began his work with art glass he designed windows for some of the most prominent interior design companies in New York as well as church and cathedrals. Many of the stained glass windows seen today all over the Northeastern part of the United States were designed and created by Louis Tiffany. The Holy City
made in 1905 for Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland is one of 11 Tiffany windows Louis designed for the church. Having 58 panels it is one of the largest ever made by Tiffany Studios.

In 1899 after a few years of working with windows Louis had the idea of creating lamps. The first Tiffany lamp was created in 1899 with a bronze base.

Every lamp is prepared by using the Copper Foil Method. First the pattern is drawn out on a heavy piece of cardboard. Next a number and glass color is written on the pattern piece. After the pattern is drawn and labeled, the glass is laid over it and traced. Once traced, the pieces are cut and grinded to the correct shape. Next the pieces are cleaned so the copper foil can be applied to the edges and the copper foil solution allows the pieces to adhere together. After the lamp has been placed and fully bonded, the edges are soldered together for a firm hold. Lastly, it is cleaned to bring out its magnificent beauty.

Louis Comfort Tiffany closed down Tiffany Studios in 1932. He is still to this day one of the most recognized artist in the world. His work with art glass has inspired the birth of some of the most well known Tiffany lamp companies still in business today such as Dale Tiffany, Meyda Tiffany and Paul Sahlin Tiffanys.

Tiffany Lamps are timeless, beautiful, and no matter what your decor they are the perfect accent in any room.

Fun fact: The record price for an original Tiffany Studios lamp at a public sale exceeds US $8,000,000.

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