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Light Table

Construction / Molds

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Pattern Preparation

Pattern Hints

Scoring / Breaking Glass



Fitting The Glass

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Health & Safety Concerns


Selling Your Artwork

Workshop Renovations

Photographing Lamps


Jon Ostrove: Look at nature with an eye for the intricacies of its lines to see if those lines could possible be used as a design in glass.
Carol Conti: When you start experimenting with designs for an original lamp, use your garden flowers, photographs of flowers, greeting cards, pictures in magazines, books or seed catalogs for inspiration while you are sketching.
Nikki O’Neill: My approach to designing would be to simulate a scene in nature as closely as possible, making liberal use of photographs, and mentally take the leaps necessary to use a full range of color. The use of color and light and shadow seem to be a Tiffany hallmark. His lamps have odd colors in them - like blue streaks in poppy flowers that, in reality, have no blue in them, but somehow the Tiffany color patate works

Pattern linen is old drawing material originally used by the architectural drafting industry to make finished renderings. It was manufactured from finely woven Irish linen that is sized with starch to give it body and provide a smooth drawing surface. Use pattern linen to draw your own designs on molds. When wet, it becomes pliable enough to conform easily to the curve of the mold. When dry, it is a skin-tight drawing surface that is durable enough to withstand repeated erasures without fraying or disintegrating. After your drawing is finished, it can be peeled easily from the mold in one piece. Unfortunately, architectural linen is no longer manufactured in a form we can use. (It was replaced in the ‘60’s by modern plastic sheets like Mylar. Odyssey has been able to ferret out old stocks of starched linen that we can buy from them. We may also be able to find this linen at old architectural firms in our own vicinity.
Procedure for working with linen by Odyssey Lamp Systems:
•Pattern linen can be used on any smooth, non-porous surface. Absorptive surfaces, such as raw wood or plaster, should be coated with a water-resistant layer of wax or shellac to prevent excessive sticking of the linen to the mold. On the other hand, smooth, ‘glassy’ surfaces may cause the linen to release from the mold surface before it has a chance to dry. In these cases, the surface should be ‘roughed up’ with very fine sandpaper to provide some tooth for the linen to adhere to.
•It is important to establish an accurate geometric grid on the mold before you apply the linen. Designers all too often cannot resist the lure of a blank drawing surface, and opt to put off the boring work of geometry until sometime later. This procrastination inevitably leads to it being done hastily at the end, and ultimately results in fitting problems down the road. Get it over with at the beginning and double-check it for accuracy!
•If your design is to be repeated around the mold, it is not necessary to apply linen to the whole mold’s surface. With a dark felt marker, draw straight radial lines on the mold to approximate one repeat of the pattern. These lines will show through the line, giving you a guide to what part of the surface you need to cover. To accomodate the irregular edges of the actual pattern design, the material should extend beyond the radial lines on both sides - at least one inch each way for small piece patterns and two inches for larger piece patterns.
•The flexibility of wet linen allows it to conform to a spherical surface (i.e., curving in both directions) through about 15 degrees of curvature in both directions. Since virtually all patterns on spherical surfaces span more than 15 degrees, the linen must be divided up into a number of segments to span the whole pattern surface. If the surface, or part of the surface, is curved in only one direction, such as a cone or cylinder, it does not have to be divided up and the linen segments can be as large as your material allows. There are no set guidelines as to the size and shape of linen segments, since these parameters are affected largely by the particular nature of the surface, as well as the size and shape of the linen. After all, when the linen is dry you won’t even notice how many segments it’s composed of; it only affects how much work it took you to get there!
•All linen segments should overlap each other about 1/4” on the mold to insure that they stick together securely. The linen is cut apart with scissors and this can only be accomplished while it is still dry. Don’t even think about trying to cut wet linen because, even with a very sharp pair of scissors, it leaves an unacceptably ragged edge that just doesn’t work. For this reason, the segments must be cut first, then wet and placed on the mold one at a time. This is reasonable, because you never know how a segment might distort when it is stretched out flat on the mold. Only after the first segment is in place can you accurately determine how to shape the adjoining edge of the next segment. Thus, they are done one at a time until the whole surface is covered.
•Try to keep the segments as large as possible. To stretch their range, slit the edges (about 1” into the segment, perpendicular to the edge) so that the two flaps created by the slit overlap each other when the linen is flattened out on the mold. Stretching often results in a gap in the crotch of the slit. This gap should be covered over with a separate linen strip about 1/2” wide. Such “darting” is useful around sharper curves.
•The linen is applied to the mold wet. For wetting the linen, use a shallow bowl with a flat bottom, at least 10” in diameter, filled to a depth of about 1” with warm tap water. It is also recommended that you add about one teaspoon of white glue (such as Elmer’s) per pint of water to aid in surface durability and adhesion. The linen segments are immersed in the water/glue for as long as it takes them to become pliable (20-30 sec.) and then immediately transferred to the mold sopping wet. (If you leave them in the water too long, they become fully limp and are difficult to handle and position correctly on the mold.) As the pliable segments are being laid out, the excess wetness will continue to soften them as you spread them out smoothly over the surface. As the linen is being laid out, bubbles inevitably form under its surface and these should be “squeegeed” out to the edge with your fingers as you go along. While working on the surface, keep the linen quite wet, as this will make the smoothing and minor adjustments easier to do.
•After all of the segments are in place and the surface completely covered, pat up all of the excess water with a damp sponge or paper towel. Don’t rub it, just pat. At this point, the mold is left to dry in a warm place, which usually takes from two to four hours. The last areas to dry will be the overlaps and these should be completely white before you start drawing. At this point, trim off the excess linen at both the ring and rim ledges with a single-edge razor blade.
•For drawing on the linen, use a soft pencil and an ordinary Pink Pearl eraser. The linen surface can be penciled on and erased as many times as the creative mind changes itself. When erasing lines drawn on top of an overlapped seam, try to erase in the direction of the seam. After the design is finalized, it is a good idea to go over the lines with a dark ink pen to make them permanent.


Carol Conti: You can either draw your design on the linen (and trace it through to the mold)or draw your design on the mold (and trace to linen)
Drawing the design on the linen
1. With your prepared linen on the mold, use a pencil (and plenty of erasers!)
to draw your design on the linen.
2. When you are satisfied with your design, lift the linen off the mold. (You might have to use scissors to cut through the linen at one side to make it easier to remove. When the linen is replaced on the mold, this cutline can be held together with transparent tape. Since linen is durable, don’t be too concerned about tearing it.)
3. Lay carbon paper over the mold.
4. Replace the linen over the carbon paper and mold.
5. Transfer your design to the mold by tracing over the drawing you have done on the linen. (If you use a colored pencil, it will be easier to see what you have already traced.)
Drawing the design on the mold
1. Lift the prepared linen off the blank mold and set aside.
2. Use a pencil (with erasers at hand!) to draw directly on the mold.
3. When you are satisfied with your design, use a black Sharpie marker to draw over all your design lines on the mold. (This helps you see your lines through the linen.)
4. Place your prepared linen on the mold.
5. Transfer the design drawn on the mold to the linen with pencil. (Use a light fixture to light up the inside of the mold so your design lines show better.)
Preparing your pattern
1. Remove the linen from the mold.
2. Following some lines of your design, use scissors to cut enough “darts” to allow the linen to lay flat. Tape the linen down to your work area.
3. Tape down a sheet of clear mylar over the flattened linen.
4. Trace your design onto the mylar with a fine Sharpie pen. Add numbers. This mylar is your master copy from which you make photo-copies of (l) paper for reference, and (2) another mylar copy that you will cut apart to use as your pattern pieces.
Nikki O’Neill: Before I use the linen, I draw a symmetrical grid and repeat sections directly onto the blank mold. Then the linen is applied to the mold. After it has dried, I draw the design directly onto the linen. When the drawing of the design is completed, I remove the pattern linen from the mold and cut it into repeats. The repeats are taped, one at a time, over the mold sections and the design traced through to the mold using fine carbon paper. A few pieces of tape keeps the linen stretched exactly to the reference lines on the mold. After this tracing is completed, remove the linen and cut to lay flat. The flattened linen is then used to make mylar or acetate copies for the pattern pieces.
Twyla Morgan: In order not to rush the drying process after I applied the linen to my mold, I placed it in the refrigerator so that it would dry slowly.While the linen dried,
I used a 1” wallpaper roller and went back now and then to smooth down the seams. The result was very few bubbles. The “fridge” method works in hot California weather!


Joan Bengtson: Here are the steps to follow in order to make repeats of your design come out correctly:
• Mark section lines on the mold.
• On your drawing paper, make a vertical line through the center of the paper. The design will have to be complete from top to bottom, but not side to side.
• Cut the design apart at the line, but cut on the lines of the design instead, going back and forth across the vertical.
• Take the right half of the partitioned pattern material and place the line that runs through it directly on top of the left section line on the mold.
• Do the opposite by taking the left half of the pattern material and placing the line that runs through it directly on top of the right section lines of the design, with jagged edge, correctly placed on the mold.
• Connect and fill in the middle portion of the design on the pattern material.
• Trace it lightly onto the mold and make adjustments, if necessary.
• When you like what you see, darken the design lines with a permanent marker.
Twyla Morgan: Since my design is based on 3-repeats, I was concerned about the left and right sides lining up. My solution: after dividing the mold into thirds, I continued the drawing of a flower over the division line on the mold. I cut a small strip and linen and traced the flower onto it. I moved the strip to the next division and lined it up. With carbor paper that I bought at a fabric store, I traced the flower onto that line. After completing the drawing on all three divisions, I filled in the rest of my design. I cut my linen down through the lead lines to flatten it so that a mylar pattern could be made.
This Poppy Garden lamp by Twyla appears in our 2004 calendar

Brian Hitchcock: When I was going to college, I worked a summer job at an engineering firm. One of my jobs was drafting and making copies of the architectual drawings. I vividly recall making those copies. I had to take the original drawings that were made on vellum (high quality parchment) and run them through the machine that used UV light and ammonia to make the copies. There was no ventilation, so I would go home coughing and crying. There were no regulations about such things in those days. I completely understand why no one is using the ammonia process anymore. Mylar is used because it is dimensionally stable. If the overall drawing of a building expands by even a small amount, it may represent a great deal of concrete later on. Mylar is better for long term stability of the original drawing, but it is harder to make the drawing...you can’t just draw on mylar with pencil the way you could on vellum. I understand that large drawings are now printed on a printer or plotter directly from the computer system where the drawings were made. The days of keeping the physical drawings are fading.

Rene Trepanier: Instead of buying architects linen, I decided to try to make my own. I cut a brown paper shopping bag into strips and soaked the strips in water. As I laid them up on the form, I overlapped each of them by about 1/2”. Then I brushed on a mixture of 50% Weldbound glue and 50% water. Since the paper is wet, you can stretch it to remove all the wrinkles by smoothing them out with your hands. After I was satisfied, I once again brushed the prepared strips on the mold with the glue/water mixture until it was thoroughly soaked. I let it dry and then I lightly sanded it to smooth it out.....Voila!

Joni Tornwall: To re-use an incised mold for my own design, I use plain beige masking tape to cover the mold. I start at the top edge where the ring goes and put a strip going down to the bottom where the rim goes. I move over and put another strip next to that. I keep doing that until I’ve gone all the way around the top of the lamp. Of course, there are big white pie-shaped areas left toward the bottom, so I cover them with tape. After the mold is covered, I draw on the design. If it’s a repeating design, I use a compass to divide up the mold and then transfer my design from my flat paper to the actual mold. I do this in pencil first and then, when I’m happy, I trace over the lines with a marker. A pencil marks and erases nicely on masking tape. Finally, I trace out the design (using tracing paper) and then make mylar templates to use to cut the glass.
Pierre Leblond: Here the steps I follow to design a lamp:
•decide if the design will be with or without repeats. (It is more complicated with repeats.)
•outline a space on paper that follows the contour of the original pattern – repeated if needed.
•draw a first sketch within this space.
•cover the mold with masking tape.
•transfer the sketch onto the mold, adjusting the background so all fits well, and then redraw the lines with a marking pen.
•copy the individual templates from the mold onto tracing paper or mylar.
Mike Barnes “I draw my design on paper for each sector. I then place carbon paper on the mold and transfer the 2 drawing to the mold. Another way is to draw your design on the mold, trace to paper and then use carbor paper to trace the other repeats onto the mold.
Brian O’Donovan: Here is a possible alternative to masking tape. I cover the mould with cling film – like Saran wrap, and then glue strips of paper to the cling film using a glue stick. When the design is completed, I cover the design with sellotape and peel it off the mould. (Take care not to stretch this tape.) It can be used in the same way as architect’s linen is used. I cut the cling film roll into three sections…this makes covering the mould easier.
Elie Nasser: Use an actual pattern as reference for the outer edge and then draw your own design on paper using just the free surface for the main subject. Have this copied 1:1 and simply paste it to the mold. Once it’s on the mold, you can easily fill the gaps on one division and apply the same pattern of this detail to the other repeats.

Annette Tamm: After I purchased Handley’s Cat base, a Halloween design for its shade immediately came to mind. I started searching my collection of pictures and catalog files for ideas for designing. And, because of it’s unusual shape, a piece of my Mexican pottery becamse the mold on which to build this shade. After covering the pot with masking tape, I started drawing (and erasing!) my design onto the wrapped “mold”. After I was satisfied with the design, I followed up using architects linen in order to produce the pattern for the lamp. Surprise lamp is featured in our 1997 calendar.
• I decided that designing something based on the four seasons might be unusual and, at the same time, might give me a chance to play with my newly-acquired slumping skills - specifically, trying my hand at faces. When I chanced to see a garden sculpture of four faces depicting north, south, east and west, it struck me that this was how I could combine the two ideas that I wanted to play with. Choosing foliage appropriate to each season was fun: dogwood - with lots of pink and light green seemed to fit spring; laburnum - with its yellows and slightly deeper green seemed more summery; autumn leaves have their own characteristic panoply of colors, and holly - with its attendant red berries, fit the winter theme. This was my process: first, I made a face of clay that hardened well enough in water so that I could pour mold material over it. However, almost without exception, every time I slumped a face, the mold broke. Although the result wasn’t too useful to get a full face, I could often use the broken parts for the outer sections. At first my concept was to have the four faces made of suitable colored glass for each season. I found that glass of just one color generally stayed in one piece during slumping, while the more “foliage-looking glass (confetti, fractures and streamers) generally broke into two or more pieces. Also, the one piece, one color glass didn’t slump nearly as well as the multi-colored glass - meaning that the nose and lips weren’t well defined. But, if I combined both the one-color glass underneath and the multi-colored fragments on top, I found that I had the effect of a face seeming to emerge from its seasonal flora. I had a wonderful time slumping leaves that surround each face. No particular design governed their production...I simply made leaves curving in various directions and tried placing them in different positions until things looked like they flowed well.
Annette’s Faces of the Seasons lamp is featured in our 2001 calendar
Hans-Willi Franken: It has always been a challenge for me to create 3-dimensional lamps. In my own small studio, I create very unique lamps using my own technique to build these objects in the Tiffany style. The 3-dimensional Parrot rests on a tree. The tree is made of copper + lead and the whole parrot is made of Oceana glass. Starting with a styrofoam block, the parrot is cut in 1:1 natural scale. The glass was put together one to one piece (that means cutting one piece of glass, working on it till it fits, grinding, copper foil, soldering and then working on the next piece of glass! After so many problems, it took some hundreds of hours to finish it - at least one year of work. The height is 16.5 inches. The Kingfisher sitting on a tree is completely made of copper and lead, worked out of the material by carving the lead with a small drill. The wings and the tail feathers are made of Oceana glass. The whole sculpture is in 1:1 natural scale and is nearly 12” high. The Kingfisher is illuminated by a special halogen bulb - without UV, because it gives the same light as a normal halogen bulb but not the same heat! These lamps by Hans-Willi are featured in our 2000 calendar.
Marcia Field: Over the years, I have come to use smaller and smaller pieces of glass in order to achieve realism and excitement in my creations. Fascinated with the sparkle of dall de verre chips combined with antique glass, my first experiments with lamps were with clear glass. The glare of the light bulb soon alerted me to the fact that I needed glass that was more opaque, so I turned to the opalescent glasses. I continued to design my own lamps and often built my own molds out of materials such as paper mache. Even today, I continue to design lamps free hand onto the form and then solder the shade as I build it. Enthralled with the use of small pieces of glass, I discovered that opalescent glass, cut in 1/8th inch pieces and turned on edge, created vibrant and interest patterns that resembled the variations in a butterfly wing, or were appealing when used as border designs. A recent shade was made by creating flowers individually on the table top and then fitting them onto the mold wherever they looked best according to shape, color and their appearance in nature. There are 14 species in my flower garden shade - plus a Monarch butterfly and a ladybug, with the background composed of greenery appropriate for each blossom. I prefer to have the flowers as varied as possible, so no two blossoms are absolutely alike. (see our 2003 calendar) I strive to have my biological representations as accurate as possible and also enjoy incorporating natural materials such as shells and stones into my designs. Marcia’s lamps have been featured in many of our calendars
Ken Briggs: I enjoy the challenge of drawing geometric designs; it seems that every second shade that I do has some geometry to it! The Rose/Butterfly was particularly tough to figure out since all I had to work from was a small (2”) picture from a Tiffany Exhibition flyer. Here is my explanation of how I drew and developed this pattern.
First, I always draw my designs directly onto (Odyssey) blank molds with pencil.
I feel this is by far the most accurate way to work, especially for geometric designs. For geometric work, I use compasses and work from a small hole placed dead center at the top of the mold. This hole should only be large enough to accomodate the compass. (I take my time finding dead center since all the work that follows would be off if this placement is not accurate.) Then I grid off the whole form horizontally. This measuring is done with a flexible seamstress-type tape to get the proper decrease in height for the rows as they move up the lamp. Then I use a compass to draw in the lines. (If you don’t have a large compass at hand, use a nail/string/pencil “rig”.) Once that is done, I tackle the vertical lines. Again, I use the flexible tape to measure the circumference at the rim line and divide it into equal segments. The segments should be roughly proportionate to the horizontals. This takes some trial and error (lots, actually!) until the proportions look right. I use the flexible tape as a ruler for drawing in the verticals, too. I line it up with my pencil marks and put the mold on it to hold one end in place, then stretch it tight with one hand and draw the line with the other hand. (This is how I work on basic (rectangle) grids. The hexagons in the Rose/Butterfly were at another level, as in LOTS more trial and error. The process just involves plotting vertical lines for the “tips”. I did just two vertical columns until they looked right and then duplicated them around the mold. I was patient...for every pencil I use, it seems I use ten erasers! After the hexagons were drawn in, I free-handed the Roses and Butterflies in a pattern similar to Tiffany’s. This design is repeated three times. After the drawing was completed, I used a marking pen to enhance the pencil lines and then laid up the architect’s linen. After attaching the linen and letting it dry, I made sure that the linen was securely taped down to the mold before I started tracing the pattern onto it. If the linen had shifted while I was tracing, I was doomed to begin again. Unlike flowers and such, there can be absolutely NO slack in this one!
Ken’s lamps have been featured in many of our calendars.
Dan Pilon: I based my interpretation of Tiffany’s Grape Trellis on a photo in the Neustadt book. Tiffany’s Trellis is a 12-sided lamp, but I separated each trellis and created 24 sides - making my interpretation 30” in diameter. To keep the sides “true” during construction, I taped the panels together and then taped their bottom edges to a 40”x32” plywood base with a 2-foot diameter hole in the center. After soldering the outside, I turned it over and soldered the underside through the large hole in the wood without having to untape the lamp from the wood. I rotated them together to get each edge horizontal. Next, I soldered in the pieces that straddle the trellis uprights and soldered a copper wire around the top edge. By then, I had confidence that the lamp was sturdy enough, so I untaped it from the wood, soldered a copper wire along the bottom edge and then did the final soldering of the entire lamp. To complete the lamp, I soldered a 384 ballchain strand to the bottom edge.This lamp is in our 2001 calendar.
Joan Luckhurst: To design my Hibiscus, I took photos and collected pictures of many varieties of this flower, sketched different angles of flowers and leaves and then had several copies made of these sketches. On a blank 20” mold that I got from Odyssey, I arranged the sketches to my satisfaction and then traced them onto the mold. The pattern was prepared using the pattern linen method. After cutting and laying the lamp up on the mold, I discovered that the glass pieces in the upper and lower background - as well as those in the border, needed to be slumped to insure a proper fit. It turned out that the slumping added a nice feature to the lamp!
This lamp is in our 2001 calendar.
Jon Ostrove: The design of my Salmon lamp (1993 calendar) began with a collection of drawings I made from photos and moved on to considering how the fish could be represented in glass. I followed my initial concept with a watercolor drawing. The next step was to decide where to place the cut lines that were needed on the fish bodies. I determined that this could be accomplished by continuing the lines - that were drawn for the water pieces, over onto the bodies of the fish. I used the linen method to prepare my pattern.
• An Azalea’s branchwork and the organic consideration of how flowers grow out of these branches were my main concern when I designed the Azalea (1995 calendar).
I was able to achieve that third dimensional look in this design by forcing branches and flowers forward on the lamp.
• For the Camelia (1997 calendar), I found I only needed to draw a conceptual sketch of the lamp rather than having to draw out the full-blown design. The flowers that I sketched were found in my neighbors’ gardens. After studying the structure of this shrub and what the flowers should look like, I drew out flowers, made copies of them, cut them out and then arranged them on the mold.
• The gnarled branches of a dogwood tree inspired me to use these branches in my design of the Dogwood (1999 calendar). I was able to extend the branches as cut lines. To get the flowers to look “alive”, I searched out variations in the glass and found the light and shadows that were necessary for the contrast I wanted.
Ted Hasenstaub: For my interpretation of Tiffany’s 22” Zodiac lamp, I used a 20” Whitmore Durgan mold, re-scaled the dimensions to fit this mold and then divided the lamp into 6 sections. I covered 1/6th of the mold with masking take and drew out one section on this taped area. I numbered the pieces on my mold according to my color scheme and covered the drawing with clear contact paper. (There is a total of 1,002 glass pieces, 42 filigree pieces and 6 large jewels in the shade.) I ordered the large jewels from Whitmore Durgan - they are rock chip finished, with sharp faceted faces that turned out to be too large for my interpretation. After cutting them to the approximate size I needed, I set the jewels in my kiln and raised the temperature to about 1200 degrees F to soften the glass. I left the jewels in about 15 minutes so that the sharp edges melted down to a smoother look. After removing them and grinding them to the exact size I needed, I found that I had to plate these light yellow green jewels with a blue pebble glass in order to get the darker green color and texture I wanted. The zodiac filigrees took the longest time to make. After discarding the potentially hazardous idea of etching them through brass sheeting with nitric acid, I decided to use 36-gauge copper sheeting. I reworked some zodiac stencils and purchased resist material and ferric chloride solution from Radio Shack (material used for making and etching copper printed circuit boards). I rubbed the stencils and resist material directly onto the copper sheets - adding a few stars and moons. I cut the copper sheeting into circles that were larger than needed and applied clear contact paper to the reverse side of each filigree so that the ferric chloride wouldn’t eat through both sides at the same time. After experimenting for a few months, I produced my first usable filigree. The others soon followed. I coated both sides of the filigree with a thin coat of solder to add some stability. After building the 6 identical sections, I soldered them together and then soldered in a 5” ring and 20” rim.Finally, I reworked a generic vase cap by adding a finial from a 1930’s lamp. This lamp is in our 2000 calendar
Ken Briggs: Flower catalog photos inspired me to design my Lily lamp. I chose my favorites from dozens of pictures of this wonderful flower that Lori and I had pasted up in the studio. Copies and cutouts of the lilies were made and then I experimented with their placement on the mold. When I was finally satisfied with this step of the process, I traced around the cutouts. After using up one pencil and ten erasers, I completed my drawing of the design on the mold and made the pattern. (I use the linen method for pattern preparation.) I made an extra linen on which I experimented with a variety of colors and intensities, rejecting the look of a lamp covered with “color’coordinated” lilies and decided on a multitude of colors found in some “special” 86 scrap glass that I’d been saving. This lamp is in our 2002 calendar

Alex Glassman: To re-design a Tiffany floral pattern, I put the old Odyssey pattern on my light table and lay new paper over it. On this paper, I trace the outline of the outside edges of the original pattern - including the blank areas (crevices) that extend into the pattern. (This allows room for the new design to fit onto both the top and bottom of the spherical surface of the mold.) Then I remove the Odyssey pattern and begin to design my own onto the new paper. Remember that the size of the pieces you are designing are not too big or too long for the mold. To make sure, compare them with pieces on the original pattern. Now, concerning those blank areas (crevices), you’ll have to use them creatively so they will close up on the mold. Look at the old pattern for ideas to use the crevices...maybe a branch, stem or leaf will fit.

Walt Makos: One way to draw grid lines on a mold is to use a marking instrument - a base that has a pole sticking in it. From the pole, you attach a pencil (or holder with a pencil) that slides up and down the pole. By sliding the pencil up and down on the pole and moving the marking instrument around the mold, you can mark off parallel lines on the mold. (Be sure to set the lamp mold and marking instrument on a flat surface.) To speed up the process, set the mold on a lazy susan and spin it while using the marking instrument.
Chaz Smith: A great new tool, the “Lazerpro Picture Perfect”, projects a laser line -about the width of a sharpie marker line. If you aim it at a mold from the side, it draws a straight line up around the contour of the mold. To section up a geometric mold, all you need to do is first mark around the bottom where you want the lines, then project a line with this tool from your mark up to the center of the top of the mold. Now trace the line onto the mold. The tool is available in the lighting/tools section of Wal Mart for $9.95.

A great free stained glass program that answers questions about angles, heights and diameters for panel lamp designing. Russ Heeschen is the designer and programmer of this new and very useful tool. For those of you who would like to contact Russ, his email is russheesch@yahoo.com

Merle Jones: To shrink Tiffany’s 18” Trumpet Vine pattern down to 10”, I started by ordering a blank 10” mold (T349 from Odyssey that has the same shape as the large Trumpet Vine). Since this pattern has four repeats, I divided the small mold into fourths. I used a Zerox machine and dropped the original 18” pattern down to 50%. By calculating and adjusting, I continued shrinking the pattern until I reached the desired size. Then I traced the adjusted pattern onto the blank mold using carbon paper and then retraced the lines with a Sharpie marking pen. Since the original Trumpet Vine uses a crown, I redesigned the top portion of the smaller lamp by extending the branches and slumping the upper glass pieces in my kiln.

Sonali Shankar: Ever since I became a member of ASGLA, I am encouraged to keep thinking of new designs for lamps. In fact I just finished work on a new three panel design of tulips that will be installed in a wooden frame. I use Adobe Photoshop 7 to design all my lamps. First of all, I draw the designs and colour code them. Then I use filters in the program like “render” to “throw” light on the drawings to see how they 87
might actually look when lit from inside. It’s great fun!

Jill Ballam: I’ve been using the Glass Eye software for years and I absolutely love it! Although I use it mainly to design windows, I’m using it more and more for designing lamps. You can make a picture by taking a photo off the internet, use one from your digital camera, or scan in an image. Once you have that image, you trace over it with the drawing tools in Glass Eye and fill in your image with glass of your choice. The program includes glass from Youghiogheny, Uroboros, Kokomo, Wissmach, Spectrum, Armstrong and Bullseye. You can re-size your design to any dimension that you like and choose any size width for the lead line. It took quite awhile to learn all of the features, but now I find it invaluable as well as a huge time-saver for printing out the finished pattern. One thing I especially like is that, when planning to build a new lamp, I can scan in a photo of that particular lamp from one of our calendars, trace over it and then try out different glass combinations. Then I print the color picture and a list of materials that I take to my glass shop.