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


Jenny Hanley-Palmer: Strengthen the Lotus lamp by reinforcing it with 12-14 gauge wire. The wire should be installed vertically in four areas on the inside of the lamp and a horizontal wire should be soldered to the area directly above the flowers. The uneven bottom must also be reinforced. Solder well in the critical area at the top aperture where the glass meets the 2” ring.
Bonnie Eckert: I always add several reinforcement wires to the inside of large lamps. It’s not a difficult job! Anticipate your curves and bend one length of the reinforcing wire into the shape you need before you solder it to the lead lines of the lamp. Be sure to start the wire 1/2 inch in at the aperture ring and then solder the wire in place. Follow the lead lines and tack the wire in place. Try to use the straightest pathway that you can find and be sure that the wire is only laying on the solder seams in your lamp. To complete the reinforcing, I connect the wire in 1/2 inch at the bottom rim. Your final soldering of the lamp is done after the lamp has been reinforced.
Alex Glassman: I use picture frame wire for reinforcement in my lamps. This wire is flexible, hardens well with solder and is inexpensive. Another nice thing is that this 39
wire comes in different widths. I buy it in large spools from frame shops.
Joy and Audie Ammons: On larger shades (like the 25” Hydrangea) that are flimsy when only tinned or top-soldered, we reinforce with 20 gauge pre-tinned copper wire before we remove it from the mold. Following design lines, we run this wire around the shade and solder it in at the seams. After you’ve beaded the shade, this reinforcement doesn’t show in the soldered seams. 20 gauge wire is what we use around the bottom of all shades with an uneven bottom.

John Herman: A flexible tinned copper wire braid 2 1/2mm in diameter is perfect for finishing off lamps with irregular borders. This flexible braid is available through the Worden Company. Braid should be installed on the lamp while it is still on the mold.
Lynne Salcetti: When I’m applying flexible braid to a shade I wish I had an extra hand! I use a variety of tools to nudge the braid in place - long tweezers, a hemostat and a dental probe to push the braid into deep inside curves. I also use my (thickly-gloved) other hand to squeeze the braid in a little arch as I drip solder along it to anchor it in place. Then I go back and make a nicely rounded bead.