Even if you don’t know the history behind Tiffany lamps, you can see that Century Studio’s reproductions and stylized commissions are something to treasure and pass down. Their precise and intricate craftsmanship speak of rich tradition and substance, while the vivid colors and often whimsical, nature-inspired designs give off a timeless energy.
For more than 30 years, Irwin Terry and Bill Campbell have operated Century Studios in the Twin Cities, creating more than 850 reproduction Tiffany lamps. Like the original Tiffany lamps, Century Studio lamps are different shapes and sizes, and motifs have included wisteria, fish, daffodils, peonies, and geometric patterns. The Tiffany reproductions are made from patterns Century Studios or others replicated from examining the original product (when Tiffany Studios closed in 1933, they did not leave much to pass on their beloved methods and designs). Oftentimes, though, Century Studios will create their own statement-making designs based on their own interests or in collaboration with clients who commission pieces.
The process of making stained glass is like following a pattern when you sew, except with very different materials and some extra steps, like wrapping each edge with copper foil and soldering everything together. It can take up to 2000 individual pieces of glass and up to 300 production hours to make one lamp shade, but when you see the soft light emanating from it, it captures the imagination.
One of the lamps currently available in their showroom is a 28-inch grape trellis chandelier shade. The expansive design channels an impressionistic color palette with hand-folded Drapery glass and other glass colors and styles. Like all of the lamps from Century Studio, each piece of glass was selected, cut, fit, and finished by hand.
Stop by their studio in St. Paul to see what’s available in their showroom or talk to them about a commission—currently they are being scheduled for completion in 2020.