Stained Glass Lampshade

Originally uploaded by gregwest98

As much as I love this thing, it is actually a bit of a burden. It is one of those things that is priceless because it is of great value to me (because Dad made it for me) but probably of no value to anybody else. I can imagine taking it to the antiques road show and being told that although it is real stained glass and assembled with real lead like the Tiffany that it is patterned after, it is of no value other than sentimental. They would use some sophisticated but insulting word to describe it like ‘craft item’ and dismiss it.

I feel I must use and display it but I worry for its safety. Everyone who sees it just assumes it is one of those plastic knock-offs like they hang at Applebee’s and so nobody bothers to avoid whacking it with a broom handle or their heads or whatever. Further, it weighs a ton. Just the other day it pulled the swag hook out of the ceiling and almost crashed onto the table. I was lucky that Evan and his friends were sitting there at the time to catch it before it broke. I then had to crawl around up in the attic and install a 2X4 buttress in the ceiling to properly hand the thing.

But I will continue to hang it because ultimately, I think it’s cool to have high-quality things made my the hands of an individual rather than cheap crap that you change with the seasons. In the words of John Ruskin:

“When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance on them, ‘See! This our father did for us.’ ”