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Heirlooms for the next century

What started out in 1988 as a one man shop has had, at one time, four employees but is now down to Michael Ashford (the founder) and Scott Swayze, who has been with Michael for 15 years. In 1996 our new studio was built and in the fall of 2004 we added an additional 500 square feet to the building. We continue to expand our stock line of lighting as we respond to the needs and desires of our clients.

Much of our workload involves custom fixtures and we encourage clients to participate in the design process.

Michael Ashford and Scott Swayze in the Studio

 

Our one-on-one approach and attention to detail are two factors that separate us from our competition. We invite you to experience the satisfaction of owning hand hammered copper lighting that will stand the test of time and be proudly handed down from generation to generation.

The Anatomy of an Evergreen Studios Lamp

Let’s start with the lamp base and work our way up. This lamp base started out life (as do all of our van Erp lamps do) as a flat sheet of 18 gauge copper. It was rolled into a conical shape with ‘finger joints’ cut and tapered to create a seam which we silver solder together. The base is then ‘smithed’ into it’s final shape and then plannished, i.e. textured (with a special hammer).

Moving up toward the top of the lamp base are the 3/16” thick arms that hold the shade. We hammer and shape the flat ‘paddles’ so that we can attach the arms to the base. Note the elegant curve of the arms and the round headed copper rivets that hold the arms to the lamp base.

At the top of the lamp base is a hand formed cap and a (color) matched socket with it’s decorative acorn pull. Speaking of color, we employ a painstaking process of dipping (in a patina solution) and burnishing, again and again, to achieve this rich brown color. We then do a final burnishing of the copper when it had dried. At this point we take the additional step of put on a protective coat of lacquer on the lamp instead of just waxing it. This is done to protect the patina finish from fingerprints that will, in some cases, eat right through wax and permanently mar the patina.

Moving on to the shade, notice the perfectly aligned angle of the shade rim, mica panels and top cap. Also notice that the straps (that attach the rim to the cap) have more of a

curve (radius) than the mica so they ‘stand proud’, giving the shade more dimensionality and visual presence. Shaping these straps is a time consuming step but one that separates a special lamp from an ordinary one.

And lastly, our mica finishing process has undergone many transformations in the quest to create a ‘dead ringer’ for antique mica. About four years ago I was sent an original van Erp lamp to repair that had (IMHO) “mica to die for”. I thought at the time that if I could figure out how to replicate this mica I would be a very, very happy craftsman. Well, I finally did…

Our mica now has a tremendous amount of ‘flake definition’, texture and variegated color. This rich detail is visible whether the lamp is lit or not. All of our lights, whether table lamps, floor lamps, sconces or chandeliers are now being fit with our ‘antique mica’. Note that many of the photos on this website are older (some shot almost 20 years ago) and show our early mica but now, every mica lamp and fixture that leaves our studio will have our new, proprietary ‘antique mica’. As the picture shows, this mica is absolutely gorgeous, setting off the hammered copper with a fiery amber glow.

We are constantly searching for ways to improve our lights and create the absolute best in Arts & Crafts lighting.

   

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