ORCA Lampshades: Production, 2

Continued from previous page.



The original shade appeared to have holes punched using a common hole puncher; MPFC used the same and spaced the holes 1-inch on center, as per the historic shade.

Four holes for four brads on both side were created using a chisel, top left.  The brads were installed and the shade form was ready for lacing to the wire rims.

Beginning with the bottom for stability, we began lacing in the middle, and moving out in each direction, and had to be careful not to tear the shade as we pulled the lacing through.

Unlike the bottom, which we carefully laced and rolled as we went along the rim, on the top we created a few temporary ties to hold the top rim in place during lacing.  The laces were left dangling at the ends and tied after the entire lamp was assembled, due to the vulnerability of the paper along punched edges.

Once all laces were in place, we replicated the ties as they were on the historical lampshade.

Below, the completed reproduction
lampshades ready for reinstallation.

Note: The one in front is the prototype before the wax was applied,
sitting behind the piece of original lampshade.
The others were the production shades.
We found that when hung the slight difference was not seen,
especially after the wax was applied to the prototype.

Note: The shades that followed the prototype (the second generation restoration of five shades made by MPFC), were created at a lower cost due to several factors.

In fact, MPFC bought extra paper (buying in bulk saved on shipping fees) and lacing because it was much more economical and ensured consistency in future restoration efforts. It is a fairly common practice in our business. We would have sold to the next conservator at our costs if we had not been chosen to create future shades, or gifted the product to the NPS upon retirement.

It is important to remember that the NPS paid for the creation of a protocol in conjunction with the SHPO report toward restoration of the sixteen lampshades at the Chateau. Once the protocol was in place, deviations were to be approved, prior to proceeding, as it is in all NPS protocol. MPFC recommended, after consultation with the NPS Curator, Mary Merryman, and John Roth, Chief of Resource Management, to best preserve history the following protocol be established:

  1. The very best, intact original lampshade should be set aside into Museum storage (shown above, left).
  2. As each shade was excavated for restoration, samples of the original were to be set aside for the museum to be used in whatever capacity they might be used — teaching, testing, etc.
  3. Conservators in future would employ our techniques so that all lamps had the capacity to match the historical lampshades and/or the first reproductions.

If the conservator is inexperienced we recommend test sheets to get
the feel of the shellac on paper; Kochi Mashi is not your average paper!

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