Lighting Dictionary...........

Art Glass Shades - Hooked Feather Pattern

Lustre Art shade - Private collector, Buffalo

The hooked feather is essentially a pulled feather (below) with a hook at the end. The gaffer proceeded in the usual way as with the basic feather decoration, but instead of pulling the threads to a point and stopping there, he continued to pull the hot plastic glass into a perfectly formed hook, or so he hoped. Actually, it was quite a trick for the gaffer to pull up exactly the right amount of glass with the steel tool so he would have enough to form the hook perfectly. This difficulty is much in evidence on a few of the hooked feather pieces we have examined. Also, the hot glass sometimes drooped and ran a little.

It would appear that the people at Quezal produced the finest shades and vases showing this decoration.

- Darrah L. Roberts, Collecting Art Nouevau Shades, 1972

Feather, Pulled feather, Peacock feather pattern

Colored canes of glass are wound around the body while red hot and molten. and then been combed or "pulled" to create the feather-like appearance. The center spine is formed on the regular feather as a result of the hook being pulled one way and then the opposite.

The pattern most often seen as a decoration on shades is the feather pattern. Thousands of shades were so adorned. This pattern was used by all six of the firms known to have made high quality iridescent shades. A wide range of colors were used, with either green, yellow, or gold being the most common. Red is least often seen. The names listed above all describe the same decoration.

The feather decoration was formed by first spinning a fine thread of colored glass on the partially blown parison [see Shades below]. The threads were spun around and around the piece to be decorated. They were always separated, however slight this separation may have been in some cases, The parison was reheated at the glory hole of the furnace, and then by using a steel hook the gaffer pulled the threads of hot plastic glass into the desired pattern.

The piece was returned many times to be reheated so it could be kept in a plastic state and workable. Temperatures were vital for the gaffer [above] because the shade would break if an attempt was made to work it while it was too cool. Other serious handling problems arose if the shade was overheated.

After the feather was formed the piece was rolled on the steel marvering board which pushed the threads into the main body of the shade.

On some shades a contrasting border was formed first, and then the feather was pulled inside this frame.

Shirt Hooked Feather and Shiort Feather: We call it a short feather because it is short and does not cover as much of the outside area of the shade as the regular feather pattern does. - p, 40

- Darrah L. Roberts, Collecting Art Nouevau Shades, 1972, p. 31

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.