There are few pieces of lighting as iconic as Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass creations. The intricate details of every hand-crafted glass shade tell a story all its own. However, have you ever tapped on a Tiffany-style lamp and wondered why it feels and sounds like plastic?
Louis Comfort Tiffany developed a process of snugly wrapping each piece of stained glass in a thin piece of paper that is covered in copper foil. “Because of this tight wrapping of the glass, there is no room for the glass to resonate and have the glass sound and feel like you expect to get when tapping on the surface,” says Ronda Young of Youngworks. “Normally, glass like in windows and in glassware is free to resonate with vibrations caused from tapping on it, but in the case of the stained glass copper foil technique, this is lost and a dull thump is often all we hear.”
If you gently tap the shade with a fork, you can feel the glass tone better. You can tell that a lamp shade is real glass by the depth and brilliance of color, especially when lit. The weight of plastic is also quite lighter than a glass shade.
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