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View Full Version : STAINED GLASS Tutorial: Making a lamp


georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:36 PM
I have appreciated all the information and insight on this message board. Most of it serems to be in hot glass but for anyone who has been in the glass trade for a number of years it seems they entered the field in stained glass. Since it seems there is a dearth of information on this borad about stained glass I thought I would walk you all through a lamp project of mine. Perhaps you will find it interesting.

Here is a lamp form that I turned on my Lathe. I was pressed for a nice size and contour that I liked so I made my own. I usually do free forms on it but wanted to do a geometric, more classical lamp on it.

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:39 PM
Next I need to cover the form in paper to get the shape of the form so I can lay it flat for design work

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:41 PM
I used strips of paper to cover the whole form and then taped it up to make a contiguous surface.

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:46 PM
Here I am using a turntable and marker to determine the lower edge of my design surface. My goal is to make a drawable surface to use on this form over and over

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:48 PM
I have the bottom marked and the top trimmed and it is ready to be cut off the lamp form

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:50 PM
here is the completed paste up

midniteburner
06-04-2003, 09:52 PM
OK George, now where is the lampshade? hehe

Did you have a problem with the styrofoam ones? Or is this one that you plan to make a series of shades from?

great pics!!!

Sara

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:52 PM
I have cut the complete paper cone off the form and traced it onto paper so I am ready to work on some design elements

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:54 PM
I lay out a pattern on the shape of the cone I have traced. I could have choose anything but I was really wanting to do a goemetric pattern for this form

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:57 PM
I trace my main design onto several sheets

A paper one for placing on the lamp form
A mylar one for composing the glass on my light table
anothe mylar one to cut pattern pieces out of

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 09:59 PM
Here I have cut out my pattern pieces to transfer their shape onto glass sheets. I used a pattern shear to cut them out which leaves space between the glass pices to account for the space taken up by soldering and foiling the individual pieces.

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:01 PM
I then trace the individual pieces onto the glass I have chosen, taking care to arrange them so They make sense when in the completed lamp

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:03 PM
Here I have all the pieces cut out, this can go slow or fast depending on the glass you have chosen

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:05 PM
Here I have taken each piece and ground the edges on my diamond router to make sure I will get a nice fit and good foil adhesion

!ngridh
06-04-2003, 10:06 PM
WOW....I can't imagine what a lampshade would cost! This is wonderful thread! Great step by step!

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:06 PM
Here I have begun foiling the pieces and putting them on the fom over a copy of the design I have made. I use museum wax to adhere them to the form

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:08 PM
I have foiled all the pieces and am ready to do my rough soldering of the lamp

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:11 PM
After the outside is done being soldered you need to release the lamp from the form. I use 3 or 4 100 Watt lights shining on it the form very close to melt the wax. On larger lamps I put them in the oven on warm for a half hour. Once the lamp is released from the form clean the inside before the wax rehardens to save yourself time later with cleanup.

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:14 PM
Here is the cap for the lamp I have chosen, I need to sand off the laquer that keeps it shiney and the tin it. Coat it with solder so it will match the rest of the solder work on the lamp.

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:28 PM
Here I have soldered the cap on. I am still in what I call rough solder mode o I will spend an hour or so nit picking once I have finished the inside and outside

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:30 PM
I have cleaned all the melted wax out of the inside and am ready to do the inside seams

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:32 PM
I included in this design some marbles and now that it is off the form I will solder those in place

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:34 PM
Here I am adding some ball chain to add a decorative edge to the lamp. I will then spend some time correcting any flaws in the rough soldering I did in the earlier construction of the lamp.

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:37 PM
After soldering, I have used some metal salts to plate the solder with copper. there are many plating techniques to make your lamp look old right off the bat but I choose straight copper plating for this one

Ann*S
06-04-2003, 10:40 PM
Thanks George...really interesting. My huisband and I have an unfinished lampshade somewhere.?? I have beads from you from years ago.Really nice.
Ann

midniteburner
06-04-2003, 10:50 PM
Wow George, I didn't expect the whole thing at once.

Awesome work!!!! What type of glass did you choose? Did you use a lead pot for the cap? What was you final time on this one shade?

Ingridh: the cost for this shade would probably start at $650 wholesale.

Sara

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:53 PM
The last step is important too, You want your lamp to have a light line. The bottom of the lamp should meet up with the top od the lamp base just where the harp meets the meat of the base. The light in the shade should be well centered. There are often many adjustments that need to be made before your shade finds its proper spot.

While each step is not difficult. Having patience and composing the glass and taking care in the details separates a Home Depot/Menards/Slave Labor made lamp from a finely crafted artisan piece. When looking at your glass, Take an extra hour to pick out where you will cut your pieces. When Foiling take the extra time with a razor and trim those wild ends. Take that extra time while you are making it, it will pay you back in satisfaction and quality years down the road

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 10:57 PM
Close up of the shade. While I do not do as many shade as I did in the past. I do about 4 a year now as opposed to 20 in the past, before I had kids to chase after. I find that I never spend quite enough time getting the to be as perfect as I wish they were. But when I put my full effort at them, don't rush, and take the time to correct blunders, I can look at lamps I made 10 or 15 years ago and still be proud. But there is always room for improvement

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by !ngridh
WOW....I can't imagine what a lampshade would cost! This is wonderful thread! Great step by step!

I generally sell my smaller lampshade from $300-450 but it does depend on design and materials cost. Some tiffany repros call for bases that are only available from one source which can be up to $2k just for the base. Anyway, pricing is compicated, subjective and I try to make at least $5/hour for my time.;)

midniteburner
06-04-2003, 11:43 PM
Anyway, pricing is compicated, subjective and I try to make at least $5/hour for my time.

George, get real!!!! $5 per hour? Your work is too good to charge $300 to $450 for that type of lamp!!! That's what I charge to repair this type of lampshade.

If you've seen the calender, well those lamps will set you back around $15,000.

Sara

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by midniteburner
Wow George, I didn't expect the whole thing at once.

Awesome work!!!! What type of glass did you choose? Did you use a lead pot for the cap? What was you final time on this one shade?

Ingridh: the cost for this shade would probably start at $650 wholesale.

Sara

I saved up all the pics so I could post this whole thing at once, I was trying to get at least one new shade done for a show I am doing this weekend

Thanks for the nice words, I used Fisher for this particular shade, I had a half sheet left from a commission that I really thought could be used for another small lamp, and after doing the layout work found I had enough to make it work. The marbles I got from Marble King via Ed hoy where I do Alot of my glass sheet buying. As far as time goes, I did not keep track on this one but I would guess about 40-50 hours. If I used the pattern again I bet it would be about 30-40 hours. Its hard to say the older I get the more slow and nit pickey I get.

At my upcoming show that I produced this lamp for I was going to ask $450, but I guess my prices just went up! Thanks!

georgepavliscak
06-04-2003, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by midniteburner


George, get real!!!! $5 per hour? Your work is too good to charge $300 to $450 for that type of lamp!!! That's what I charge to repair this type of lampshade.

If you've seen the calender, well those lamps will set you back around $15,000.

Sara

Well I Have never been paid quite so well as that, for my 16" plus lamps I do try to start at $3k. The Best I have ever done is $9,500 for a nicely done repro shade, but hey, they missed the original at Christies for 10 times that. (not to mention I probably spent 400 hours on it) Really though, I appreciate the nice comments. I will try to post some of my larger work, though most commissions will not allow me to publish photos, I think I have a few I can dig up.

georgepavliscak
06-05-2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by Ann*S
Thanks George...really interesting. My huisband and I have an unfinished lampshade somewhere.?? I have beads from you from years ago.Really nice.
Ann

Was that something you were attempting, Hope you can get inspired to finish it up, nothing like lighting your house with your own work. And glad to hear from someone who was buying my beads from way back when. Wetcanvas is really an awesome resource!

midniteburner
06-05-2003, 12:33 AM
The Best I have ever done is $9,500 for a nicely done repro shade, but hey, they missed the original at Christies for 10 times that.

I would love to see a picture of this lamp!!! It sounds as if there wasn't a piece of glass larger than a dime in it.

Sara

ValorieCox
06-05-2003, 12:44 AM
George, I'm just now checking this thread--WOW! Great step by step, and such an incredible piece. I am so glad you shared it with us. All of the glass arts are appreciated here!

Remember everyone to rate great threads such as these (lower right corner 'rate this thread' box), so they are saved in the Glass 101 sticky. I rate this one 5 stars! :clap:

Val

swamperfolk
06-05-2003, 07:30 AM
Zowee, I've made shades but that is one great tutorial from a great lampshade maker. thanks.

Mark Wilson
06-05-2003, 07:45 AM
what an excellent tutorial!!! thank you for posting it. your lamp looks great. it looks like it took you quite a bit of time, any idea of how many hours of time are in it?

sharonL
06-05-2003, 08:15 AM
I've never done stained glass and I've always loved the glass shades but could never actually bring myself to pay so much for them. You've just shown me why they are so expensive.

That is a lot of work!! You're really good at what you do and I really appreciate the tutorial. I'm curious....besides the hours that you spend, how much money actually went into making the lampshade? The glass, the foil, the solder, mylar, etc.

I'm curious because you've just made me want to try to make something out of stained glass...not a shade...to involved for a beginner...but I sure would like to try a little box or something.

Thanks for the sparks!:clap: :D

georgepavliscak
06-05-2003, 09:05 AM
Glass for a nice shade can be expensive, There was probably only a quarter sheet in this one, as its fairly small.


Here is an approximate rundown
Glass $15.00
1 roll of foil $4.00
Just shy of 1lb of solder $7.00
Cap $5.00
Lampbase $20.00
Lamp Harp $2.00
Chain $1.00
Chemicals/disposables/paper/mylar $3.00

So cost to make $57.00, ball park - probably a little more when you consider wear and tear on your tools and equiptment.

AlexM
06-05-2003, 11:26 AM
George,

Thanks for posting this incredible tutorial! I am awed!:clap: :clap: :clap:

flamewerks
06-05-2003, 01:27 PM
Great tutorial! Beautiful lampshades, too.

Thanks!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

-Mona

toozygoot
06-05-2003, 02:53 PM
George - this is a wonderful tutorial! I have made 3 shades Tiffany style only and tho the designs are very simple, I love them. Never did a Worden form yet, but always wanted to do the turtleback design. And the other shape I would like to do is a very shallow and wide form with an oriental flair. I would but a simple orb shaped ceramic base on it and find the most beautiful glass from Uroboros or Bullseye. And for those who think that these shades are delicate, one I dropped on the floor twice after it was made and nothing happened at all. It's all in finishing the inside as well as you have done the outside.

Thanks George!

pat

sharonL
06-05-2003, 03:22 PM
Thanks George for the breakdown of costs. Not too bad! I think I'll actually try something...........

Thanks again for the tutorial....it really is a good one.:D

Camille Rafa
06-05-2003, 03:50 PM
That is going to be one great lamp! Great shades of red!

Have to say that I love the Anchovy marbles! They're great! and look like little swirled up anchovy fillets! Yummm...Do you make Anchovy beads too??

loydb
06-06-2003, 08:08 AM
Great thread George. I've got a bunch of Tiffany lamp reference books, and am going to make one as soon as we're moved and I have a stained glass work area again!

loyd

Mark Wilson
06-06-2003, 08:24 AM
how many hours of hands on time do you have in your lamp?

Wojobeada
06-06-2003, 09:02 AM
George, Thank you.
I 've always wanted to try a lamp and your step by step gives me the courage to actually go ahead and try one.

georgepavliscak
06-09-2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by midniteburner
OK George, now where is the lampshade? hehe

Did you have a problem with the styrofoam ones? Or is this one that you plan to make a series of shades from?

great pics!!!

Sara

Styrofoam molds generally only last for a lamp or two before they are trashed, especially if you are soldering your seams correctly. I seldom resort to them. I use wood, or I make fiberglass ones, for shades I want to do many of.


( the lampshade is safe on a shelf in my studio, and has already been back and forth to a few shows)

bousky
06-09-2003, 04:05 PM
Thanks so much for this tutorial. I am in process of my first lampshade and feel inspired by your work. Your generosity, time and effort to do this is much appreciated!

Thanks,
Michelle

tulips
06-09-2003, 04:59 PM
Fabulous! Show us more! Show us the finished piece! How long did it take you to get to that point?

JodiPrice
06-09-2003, 08:30 PM
George,

That is one BEAUUUUTIFUL Lamp!!! I love the colors and the design. Even though I do not work in stained glass I sure appreciated the step by step you showed! It made me realize just what goes into a lamp. Very neat!
Now I have another project added to my ever growing list that I would love to try one day!

georgepavliscak
06-10-2003, 10:27 AM
Some asked to see more of the finished lamp, so here it is in one of my show set ups. The Lamp took 40-50 hours, but Some of that was getting the pattern right which took me a few tries.

mistymade
06-10-2003, 08:15 PM
Wow!!!!!!!!!

George, your work is beautiful and the tutorial is awesome!!! I just want to touch everything on that display table!!!

Droooooooool!

DonnaB
06-10-2003, 10:06 PM
Thank you George! I just rated this thread five stars!

kbinkster
06-11-2003, 01:35 AM
Thanks, George!

I'm one of those people who started out with working in stained glass. I have only made one lamp in my "career," and it was a simple leaded panel shade. I have so much respect for the artists out there, like you, who can take on a project with so many pieces and complete it. I have some bevels and a sheet of glass waiting to become sidelights for my front door. I have a good excuse for the 18 month delay - I can't find my soldering iron and grinder!

Well, thank you again for the time and effort you put into this tutorial. I hope it encourages some people to try something new (or to revisit something familiar).

~kmbrly

midniteburner
06-11-2003, 08:42 PM
George,

Your table looks great!!!! See you also like to make k-scopes too.

Sara

frieda L
06-11-2003, 11:05 PM
I am just speechless. Georgous work!!!
I haven't introduced myself, now is not the time, in this thread, but I have one comment. Glasswise, I am so far just a "drooler", a wannabe newby. Retailwise though, I am very opinionated. I used to own a jewellery store in Calgary, Canada, and carried the work of many artists. My main challenge was to get the artists to raise their prices.
Why would you have to work for $5 per hour? If someone wants to commission a piece by you, or if someone buys one at a show, they really do not want you to live off 5 dollars an hour. If they have to pay you ten or twenty or thirty dollars an hour, that will make their piece that much more valuable. They may think about it, but enough people can afford it. As you say, ten or fifteen years later, the piece you made will still be beautiful. You work so hard to offer your customers a beautiful piece of luxury, art... do make sure that in echange, you have some money to buy some luxury and art, and whatever. You deserve waaaay more than a hamburger per hour. Sorry to put it so bluntly, please give yourself a raise.
Frieda L

kbinkster
06-12-2003, 12:44 AM
I vote that we all give ourselves raises! Hurray!:) Wait a minute, for a second there I thought I was a member of Congress.:p

georgepavliscak
06-12-2003, 11:50 AM
Well as many of you may know, if it does not sell, you do not get paid.

I was kinda of kidding about the $5/hour thing - though it does seem that way sometimes. When all the sweat shop labor shades started coming in from Mexico and overseas, it really put the clamps down on people making art glass shades. You have to educate the customer on the differences in structure, quality of the work and composition of the glass that you just can't get out of a production facility.

So I keep some mass produced shades in my studio to show people the differences when they come to view my work. More often that not they come in and say thats a pretty one, because of the bright colors, but by the time I have shown them the difference thay can never look at production work the same again.

But as is the case with most of you I am sure, money is not my motivation when working with glass, its the process of creating, and the persuit of improvement that drives me.

Bill collectors just don't understand that part. Dagnabbit!

paintfool
06-12-2003, 01:17 PM
Incredible work, awesome tutorial and just an absolutely inspiring thread! Thank you so much George! It's very much appreciated!

Cheryl

Emily
06-12-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by georgepavliscak
So I keep some mass produced shades in my studio to show people the differences when they come to view my work. More often that not they come in and say thats a pretty one, because of the bright colors, but by the time I have shown them the difference thay can never look at production work the same again.

True of beads, too, even though the mass-produced Chinese beads seem to have gotten a lot better in recent years. I remember oohing and aahing over some commercial Czech lampwork beads that you couldn't pay me to use now.

I've gone to a few craft shows recently and seen pieces made by jewelrymakers with mass-produced lampwork -- nice silver with the really crappy bumpy beads that have the dots all uneven. I kept wanting to grab the artists and tell them that their work deserved better beads! But there were some lampworkers at these shows, too, so if the jewelrymakers had an opportunity to wander around they may have educated themselves.

Lily Steele
06-12-2003, 04:59 PM
Just want to add my thank you for posting photos of this awesome lamp and taking the time to illustrate the process. I will never attempt to make a lamp but knowing how they are made will always add to the pleasure I take in looking at them.

ValorieCox
08-06-2003, 12:45 PM
As we have been discussing stained glass, I just had to bring this thread back up in case anyone missed it. George, what else are you doing lately? I'd love to see it! :)

Val

midniteburner
08-06-2003, 12:51 PM
George, what else are you doing lately? I'd love to see it!

Me too!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

Sara

georgepavliscak
08-06-2003, 05:23 PM
Working on a bid for some Kitchen cabinet fronts - hoping for a connected 16 foot garden scene. That will most likely not pan out. But I will post some of my other work soon - gotta clean up the mess first!

ValorieCox
08-06-2003, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by georgepavliscak
Working on a bid for some Kitchen cabinet fronts - hoping for a connected 16 foot garden scene. That will most likely not pan out. But I will post some of my other work soon - gotta clean up the mess first!

16 foot garden scene? Wow! I'm so glad you checked in, I can't wait to see what new photos you have to share after you tidy up a bit from your latest project :p

Val

paintfool
08-07-2003, 03:22 AM
Whoa! Thanks Val for the reminder of this wonderful tutorial! Can you believe that i was so blown away by not only the workmanship but the wonderful step by step that i forgot to put it in the 'Glass Class 101' thread???? I'm off to do so right now.
Thank you so much George! Not only do i have a better understanding of the intense process involved in this work, my appreciation for works of this kind that i will view in the future is seriously elevated. You sharing of this WIP (work in progress) is very generous and very much appreciated!
Thank you!
Cheryl

georgepavliscak
03-31-2004, 07:27 AM
Thanks for fixing this thread, it had been closed and the pictures offline for a long while. So whomever did the job, Thanks!

Retta Gates
03-31-2004, 08:13 AM
I second that Thanks! I just stumbled upon it. It is very great, I am not going to be doing this right now...Too much on my table but I do want to make some stained glass one day...


Thanks so much for sharing...


:clap: