Have you noticed the huge increase in price? I can't believe how much they have gone up in a year. Lamps which I purchased for $350.00 are now $900.00
“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
Shannon L. Alder
Wow, I had't noticed. I like some of them and they used to be presented, but can't recall the last time I saw them on the air. Never ordered from here but have from elsewhere and while I haven't checked the prices at other resources, I know I didn't pay that for them and wouldn't... If there's a legitimate reason for such a sharp increase, I'd like to know what it is. Regardless, given the price, maybe that's part of the reason we don't see them shown very often!
Last edited on 8/23/2012
Last edited on 8/23/2012
Glad I bought mine a couple years ago.
Making a stained glass lamp is VERY labor intensive. My DH makes them as a hobby, and I help, so I know. The cost of material has skyrocketted, and we are talking lamps that are mass produced using regular stain glass as opposed to "art glass" which is infinitely more expensive, otherwise you can triple or quadruple the cost or more. Labor costs in China has gone way up. It is a double edged sword. Manufacturing moved to China for the cheap labor, but those jobs brought on a huge emergence of middle class in China, something that was absent in the past, and things come full circle, because for the same jobs that they used to pay 50 cents an hour, they are now having to pay $ 3 o4 $4 an hour. Still a bargain by our standards, but when you add in the cost of shipping, in transit insurance etc. yeah, prices have to go up. Don't forget also that the exchange rate between the dollar and yuan is probably not favorable either. So,yeah, I believe it that prices for these lamps have gone up. We see it when we go purchase supplies. It's an expensive hobby, and if the finished product didn't give us such pleasure and enjoyment, we would most certainly abandon it !
Years back I bought a reproduction of one of the original "spiderweb" lamps...I think I paid around $400 for it....I've never seen it again, although I've seen that pattern. It is one of my favorites....
At the time, it was a lot more expensive than most of the lamps...I probably could not afford it now!
Have dabbled in stain glass, I can tell you that making one of these lamps would be a huge investment of time and money....It wasn't cheap back in the day and no surprise that it has gotten very expensive.....It's hard to do!
Making individual lamps by a hobbyist is a bit time consuming, but factory made lamps are pretty cost effective to make and assemble. They'll typically use ring saws or band saws to cut multiple layers of glass at one time, so in the time it takes a hobbyist to cut one piece they can cut five or more. The cutters will get a sandwich of multiple sheets of stained glass laminated together with a pattern glued on top and they use the saw to trace the lines of the pattern. The cut pieces then get delaminated and separated into the appropriate shapes. foiled and sent to the soldering station where they're then soldered together. Each station should be able to turn out about a lamp an hour, so increasing labor costs aren't as big a factor in the final price.
What slows down the process for hobbyists is the lack of specialty tools like the saws which allow very accurate cuts and no grinding, and the transitioning from one part of the job to another. In a factory setting you have one worker who does nothing but cut, so they get very good at it. You have another worker who does nothing but foiling, so they get very good at it. You have another worker who does nothing but soldering, so they get very good at it. For a hobbyist, you do a bit of cutting, a bit of foiling, a bit of soldering, but you have to be more of a jack of all trades. Most hobbyists and artisans are also very picky about the glass they use. They'll go through as many sheets as it takes to find one with the right color, pattern to it for the project they're working on. Factory built lamps just tend to use sheets from pile A.
One of the quirks of stained glass lamps is that the glass and supplies for assembling the shade are typically pretty low. In fact, the lamp base is typcally the most expensive part of the lamp. Whittemore Durgin (A stained glass craft supplier) has a number of Tiffany reproduction kits where you get the pattern, form, and glass needed for Tiffany reproductions for around $80. The base for one of those lamps though will often cost more than the kit to make the shade.
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I love the design and most of mine were bought over ten years ago. The price is very much up and I guess my buying days are over.