FAQ Index

Light Table

Construction / Molds

Choosing Glass

Pattern Preparation

Pattern Hints

Scoring / Breaking Glass



Fitting The Glass

Lamp Positioners

Solder / Soldering

Reinforcing Lamps

Special Considerations


Releasing a Shade

Ring and Rim



Special Applications

Tools, Aids etc.

Health & Safety Concerns


Selling Your Artwork

Workshop Renovations

Photographing Lamps


In order to find flowers, leaves and background in sheets of glass, “windows” help us focus on specifics in the glass.
1. Make as many paper copies as there are repeats of the original paper lamp pattern.
2. Use a precision knife and cut away all the flowers that are on one of the copies you had made.
3. On another copy, cut away all the leaves.
4. On the remaining copy, cut away all the background pieces.
5. Spray these copies with black paint in order to eliminate the white of the pattern and the distracting lines that are left.

Use windows to purchase glass:
Take your windows to your glass store. Place one of the sheets of glass that you may use in your lamp on an illuminated light table. If you are deciding on a possible “flower” glass, lay your flower window over the sheet and slowly move it around. You will “discover” a flower! (Try this on several different sheets until you are satisfied before making a purchase.) Repeat these steps using your windows to help you choose glass for your leaves and background.

Use windows to lay out your pattern:
Place the sheet of “flower” glass that you have purchased on your illuminated light table. Use the “flower window” as a guide when you draw approximate outlines of your flowers onto the glass with a Sharpie marking pen. (Mark the corresponding number from a reference copy onto the glass flower outline, so there will be less of a problem laying out the mylar pattern pieces onto the glass later on.) Don’t feel that you have to stay at one area for a specific flower, but take advantage of the window when there is some obvious coloring, movement or shading that you want to use. After your flowers have been outlined, proceed to the other sheets of glass and, with your other windows, repeat the procedure.

Special background considerations:
With some lamp backgrounds, you find that you can skip around on the glass and get away with drawing your pattern pieces out randomly. However, on some of Tiffany’s designs, the background must be laid out in a consistent manner so that the movements, textures and colors of in the glass flow behind the leaves and flowers.

Remedy for potential cutting problems:
If you find that some of the outlines you have drawn will pose cutting problems, erase the outlines with denatured alcohol and then spread them out so that you will be able to cut around the outlines and still be true to what the windows showed you.

Holding copies:
Holding copies take care of storing mylar pattern pieces and is more efficient than keeping the pieces in envelopes.
l. Make three more copies of the original paper pattern to hold the mylar pattern pieces. (One of these copies will hold the mylar leaves, another the mylar flowers and the last will hold the mylar background pieces. )
2. Cover these holding copies with clear contact paper. (The contact paper will protect the design lines, letters or numbers on the holding copy so they won’t be damaged by the glue.)
3. As you cut out your mylar pattern, use a glue stick to attach each pattern piece to its proper place on the holding copy. (It’s easier to find pattern pieces if they are separated by having the flowers on one copy and the leaves and background pieces on their own holding copies.)
4. Later, after you have cut and ground the first glass repeat, you will reattach the pattern pieces to their proper places on the holding copies, so that the patterns will be ready for the next repeat.

Reference copies:
Make paper copies of the original paper pattern for reference copies. Have as many photo copies made as there are repeats of the design.

Glass easels:
An easel is simply a piece of double-strength clear glass cut to the size of your paper reference copies. (Sand the edges of this glass to protect your hands from being cut.) These glass easels are placed over the reference copies on your worktable. Later on, as you construct your lamp, you will use a tiny ball of Odyssey’s Tacky Wax to attach the prepared glass piece to the glass easels above its corresponding place shown on the reference copy. The glass easel can be lifted from the reference copy and placed on an illuminated light table at any time. This procedure makes it possible for you to continually examine your lamp as it develops and allows you to make any needed changes. This procedure makes it possible for you to examine your lamp and make any changes as it is developing. The easel also takes care of storing your developing project and eliminates the possibility of misplacing a piece. As each pattern piece is removed from its glass, it should be dried and returned to the holding set, since it will be used again for the next repeat.

Laying out the mylar pattern:
Use a glue stick to attach the mylar pattern pieces to the corresponding outlines you have drawn on the sheet of glass. The glue stick works well by holding the mylar to the glass if you allow sufficient time for it to dry. After each glass piece is ground, dried off and attached with a bit of wax to its place on the easel, the pattern piece should also be dried and reattached to the holding copy using a glue stick. Now the pattern is ready for the next repeats.

Follow the pattern - not the mold:
All glass should be cut to match the shape outlined on the mylar pattern and your reference sheet. Don’t cut to match the shapes on the mold...the mold’s lines are only used to approximate the position of the glass pieces. They do not define their exact contour or placement.

Final look at the easels:
When you’ve completed cutting out your lamp and making changes as you go, the easels should be laid on the light table in the order in which they will be placed on the mold. Now you must make your final selections. Check to see if any section is distracting; too light or transparent, too dark or opaque causing a dead area or too streaky or the streaks are running the wrong way causing a disruption in the continuity of your lamp. Lay the left side of the first easel on the right side of the last easel to check on flow and compatibility, since these sides will also be joined together.