Depending on the glass chosen for the shade, the 15″ Spider shade has the ability to look bright and cheerful or dark and menacing. While obviously inspired by a spider and web, Tiffany Studios originally referred to the shade as “geometric plain, heavy ribs for #337 base”. The #337 base is the Mushroom base shown in the photo and is a perfect mate for this shade. It is not surprising that original examples of this shade are rarely matched with a different base since it is called out this way on their price guide.
The spider legs, or heavy ribs as they are referred to in the original price guide, are cast in bronze and give the shade an additional three dimensional quality not found with traditional dome shades. Even the vent cap is an abstract representation of the spider’s body. For this shade, our client requested a light amber tone and the glass we chose is a transparent white and amber/yellow mix that has wispy mottles. The shade was commissioned by a client in Ohio and is mated on the traditional Mushroom base (16″ tall).
We shot a short video of Irwin Terry soldering the spider legs into the shade. When incorporating cast bronze parts (spider legs, wisteria crowns, etc) into a shade, the challenge is to keep the metal hot enough that the solder will flow and attach to the glass. Irwin uses two soldering irons when attaching rings, rims and cast parts because until the thick metal parts heat up, they suck the heat out of the iron. Working with two irons, the metal parts heat up quickly and the irons stay at temp.
Irwin has developed a technique of holding both irons in one hand when working with cast parts so that he can quickly change irons and keep everything nice and hot.
***Please note that this is not an instructional video. If you decide that you wish to try this yourself, practice with cold soldering irons to see if you can hold onto two at once and not drop them. These Weller Temperature Control Soldering Irons are heating to 800 degrees and can easily slip from your hands and burn you.***
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