Saturday, 22 October 2011

Art Deco Lamp Shade

A few weeks ago a person who is renovating their 1908 architect designed house brought a lampshade to me.  The architect's daughters kept his last redecoration in the 1920's with minimal change.  This included the electrical wiring as well as the plumbing.  It has been a big project for the current owner.  He has now gotten all the fundamentals done and is able to move toward the finishing touches.  

This hanging lamp had only one side piece and the bottom left intact.  This was enough to provide a pattern for cutting the glass and give a guide for the painting.  The frame for the lamp is made from aluminium painted to appear as a corroded bronze.  Although they loved their aluminium and the crisp designs, the people of the time still wanted the items to look aged.  

In some ways this is an elegant design as the supporting arms are bolted to the base ring - the elements that appear to be feet in these photos are the base of the bolts.  The glass is then laid into the supporting ring and between the arms.  You can just see the supporting lugs at the base of the glass in the second picture. This loose fitting may also be why there were only two pieces of glass left before rescue.

The glass texture was chosen to be similar to the original in conjunction with the client.  It was then painted with an obscuring white, followed by many layers of a Reusche amber enamel to obtain the slightly orange appearance of the original.  It was an interesting project to do, as all the base and supports are not exactly symmetrical.  Each piece of glass fits one place and the base also fits only one way around.  This took a bit of adjustment as the unequal-ness was a surprise to me.  I am satisfied with the result and the client is pleased too.

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