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History of Tiffany-Style Art Glass and Lamps

Although churches used stained glass in Europe as early as A.D. 11, Louis Comfort Tiffany boosted its popularity. He perfected the art of using copper foil to join pieces of colorful glass, creating the renowned Tiffany style.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Born in 1848, Louis Comfort Tiffany was the son of a prominent jeweler in New York. Tiffany studied art in New York and Paris. He became a painter and interior decorator with a flair for Middle Eastern and oriental decor.

In 1875 Tiffany joined forces with Lockwood de Forest, Candace Thurber Wheeler and Samuel Colman, and founded Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated Artists. He loved using stained glass for tiles, lamps, murals and windows. Tiffany's desire to concentrate on art in glass led to the breakup of this business. In 1885 Tiffany established his own glassmaking firm - Tiffany Glass Company, later becoming known as Tiffany Studios. Tiffany started a new factory, the Tiffany Glass Furnaces, in 1893.

Instead of painting on clear glass, he added metallic oxides and heated the glass to stain it, which in turn created beautiful colors. The hallmark of his work was his lustering technique, mostly used on vases. This process caused the surface to crackle into a multitude of tiny lines that would refract light.

Tiffany first commercially produced Tiffany lamps around 1895. He incorporated tiny sections of glass to create patterns such as dragonflies, flowers and butterflies. Bronze bases provided the perfect complement for the art glass shades. Tiffany-style lamps remain popular because of their beauty and craftsmanship.

Tiffany retired in 1918, but still monitored businesses using his name. Because of failing quality, he disallowed the use of his name on these products in 1928. His name, however, still identifies his construction technique.

In addition to traditional Tiffany-style lamps and shades, we offer other home decor and lighting products that use the timeless method of copper foiling art glass. Take a look at stained glass incorporated in ceiling lights, room dividers and fan/vanity light shades. To capture the essence of stained glass windows, try Tiffany-style stained glass art window hangings.

Tiffany Styled Art Glass and Lamps