Five Rivers

Tiffany Lighting

The designer Louis Comfort Tiffany developed a considerable variety of glass types over the course of his career.

As a stained glass artist, one history's most notable in fact, he is well known for has crafting some of the finest glass pieces of decorative art in the past two centuries. Tiffany was an interior designer that specialized in the use of stained glass. As a young man he traveled to London, where upon visiting a museum, he became fascinated with Roman and Syrian glass samples. He began work as an interior designer because the growing demand for stained glass during the latter portion of the nineteenth century, when the art form was popularized by several post-Victorian styles. His attention could not be contained solely by interior decorations and he began to experiment with glass types and forms in his own studio. Toward the end of his life he translated his passion into his own unique form of art. Tiffany's unique form of glass art carries his name to this day. However, it is most common known to consumers in the form of Tiffany lamps. He was also well known for naming his glass developments, the most famous of which being Favrile. Favrile glass was a word Tiffany borrowed from French, the word fabrile, which translates to handcrafted. This development was a direct result of the Roman and Syrian influences that had drawn him to the craft originally. Tiffany would go on developing new types of glass and furthering the developments of older forms. He made heavy use of Opalescent glass, or glass that is described as containing more than one color. This type was not a Tiffany invention, but was so commonly used by Tiffany, it became synonymous with him. Fracture glass is common in stain glass fixtures even today, and owes much of its popularity to Tiffany. This glass type is created by arranging fragments of different sized pieces together to create an asymmetric pattern. Stained glass fixtures, bowls and windows still make use of fracture glass today. Tiffany developed streamer glass. This glass was made to have the appearance of glass streamers streaking across it in the form of plant like patterns. Due to the high temperature need to manipulate the glass into this shape, streamer glass is difficult to produce and therefore uncommon. Tiffany was cleaver enough to produce a hybrid of fracture glass and streamer glass. It was cleverly named fracture-streamer glass. Because the glass embodies the striking characteristics of both its name sakes, this is one of the most visually appealing types of stained glass. Texture was also incorporated into his glass works. Ripple glass was a method for creating waves which ran through the glass piece. Likewise, ring mottle glass and drapery glass produced textures that were pronounced above the surface of the surrounding piece. Today, Tiffany glass is well known in the form of lamps. This truly has a story of its own, but can be summed up somewhat. When experimenting with his glass types and pieces, Tiffany would often end up with scraps of glass, much like a carpenter ends up with scraps of wood. As a way of recycling these pieces, Tiffany produced unique glass lamp shades which he sold at a considerable profit. Although his designs was often used more than once, each Tiffany lamp became quite valuable. Today, original Tiffany lamps are valued in the millions of dollars. Modern light fixture companies still produce Tiffany style lighting. Two manufacturers in particular produce very striking fixtures that still retain the same complex design styles Tiffany himself once employed Dale Tiffany, and Kichler.
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