Construction / Molds
Scoring / Breaking Glass
Fitting The Glass
Solder / Soldering
Releasing a Shade
Ring and Rim
Tools, Aids etc.
Health & Safety Concerns
Selling Your Artwork
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
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
•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
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
• Connect and fill in the middle portion of the design on the pattern
• Trace it lightly onto the mold and make adjustments, if necessary.
• When you like what you see, darken the design lines with a permanent
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
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.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.