Tiffany lamps are probably the most admired products of the Art Nouveau movement, and it’s easy to see why. These utterly luxurious hand-made objects, mostly table lamps or desk lamps, somehow managed to remain as desirable as they were more than hundred years ago. But the same techniques that Tiffany used are actually still being employed to make lights — and in some cases, they look completely different than what you’d expect.
That’s what Glarecut, a Hungarian studio founded in 2015, does. They create up-to-date, individually crafted, noteworthy light fixtures using Tiffany’s century-old techniques. Just like Louis Comfort Tiffany did, the young designer of Glarecut – Dániel Szohátzky – prepares his stained leaded glass lamps using the copper foil method. First he sketches his ideas, from basic solid figures to complex or irregular interpenetrating geometrical objects, then he creates a pattern on cardboard based upon his drawings.
Dániel orders large white or opalescent glass sheets from the United States, which he cuts and burnishes based on his designs. Then, he glues copper foil to their edges, and solders the glass triangles, squares, rectangles together. With this old, essentially unchanged method, he creates highly distinctive Art Deco lighting accessories, which are definitely far from the now-antique Tiffany style.
Because each lamp is designed and crafted individually, it takes one or two weeks to assemble them, which is surely a longer period of time than it takes to mass-produce a lamp in a factory — so, as you might expect, the price tag is much higher (up to £1,200). But make no mistake: for a fraction of what a gold Apple Watch would cost you, you’re buying a piece of design that will last for decades, like Tiffany’s have.
When I visited Daniel Szohatzky in his the Glarecut workshop, he told me how he started making lamp shades with Tiffany technology as a hobby beside his regular job as a lead web developer at a large international IT firm. He came up with the idea of making minimalist and new wave lamps; eventually, his hobby led him to leave his job, found Glarecut, and become a full-time glass artist. Our photos from the Glarecut workshop will show you how he masters the glass, and the main steps of the Tiffany technique:
(Photo, animgif: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo, product shots: Dániel Szohátzky)