Turkish Mosaic lamps derive their beauty from the quality of the materials used in their construction and from the dexterity and thinking ability of the craftsmen who design and manufacture them. Almost no mechanical tools are used in the production process and therefore each mosaic lamp art is a very different work of art. But what is the manufacturing process for such a unique and timeless home decor? Although there are production aspects that must remain between the master and the apprentice, the general process is as follows:
Individual sections are hand cut from larger sheets of handmade glass of different colors and thickness. The size and shape of each specific piece will later play an integral part in the overall design of the various lamp styles.
A base of clear, hand blown glass is then prepared to accept the individual pieces of cut glass. The basics of the design are laid out on the clear glass using markers to ensure the final pattern adheres to the designer’s original plan.
A clear, permanent but slow drying adhesive is applied to a small section of the base with the pattern visible through the adhesive to guide the hand of the artisan. Each pattern leaves enough ‘wiggle room’ to allow each lamp to acquire its own expressive characteristics.
Section by section adhesive is applied and individual glass pieces assembled into the final mosaic form. Once all the pieces are in place a special paste is used to fill the space between individual pieces. The completed lampshade is then given several days to set up properly.
Once the adhesive and bonding paste has dried special cleaning solutions are applied and rubbed in vigorously to remove any excess bonding paste from the surface of the glass segments. This is a labor intensive effort that may require several passes.
Following the removal of excess paste the mosaic lamp shade then has any sharp or extruding glass edges smoothed out by use of a wire wheel attached to a mechanical lathe. It is virtually the only aspect of production which utilizes machinery.
Once the mosaic lamp shade is deemed finished it is attached to brass or bronze components that are fabricated and assembled by hand to form a complete pendant lamp, wall sconce or table lamp that will provide beauty and elegance to your home for generations.
While the chemical composition of the adhesive, bonding paste and cleaning solutions has changed over time, and where the artisans now use markers where once they used ink applied via a brush, the rest of the process is essentially the same as it has been for centuries. None of the updated aspects of the process in any way change the beauty and timelessness of the final product.