A Glass Act
By Suzanne Daly
Wolfard lamps, which could look equally at home on TV's Star Trek as they do at the Hotel Healdsburg's Dry Creek Kitchen Restaurant, have been gracing tables for nearly 40 years. Conceived in 1973 by Jon Wolfard as gift to his wife, Linda, the blown-glass lamps took on a life of their own when friends admired their unique design—the oil reservoir being incorporated inside the chimney, rather than in the base—and wanted one for their own. Word soon spread, and Wolfard lamps were recognized by the Whitney Museum of Fine Arts for their new, innovative design in 1975.
Distribution grew, and the lamps were soon sold in "every shopping center across the country, at Nature Company stores and in the L.L. Bean catalogue," says current company co-owner Richard Trevethick. Now available online and popular internationally, especially in Sweden and Denmark, these Sebastopol-produced lamps are a perennial favorite. Made of a highly durable borosilicate glass imported from the Czech Republic, each lamp has life literally breathed into it by Trevethick, a veteran glassblower who learned his extraordinary skills working alongside Wolfard since 1975. He acquired the company in 2004, and together with partner Tom Relyea continues to create new designs while maintaining the classic lamp's high quality.
New designs include an arch-shaped lamp, a squared arch and floating lamps. A solid based lamp can be filled with water and flowers as an illuminated centerpiece. Because of the nature of glassblowing, no two lamps are exactly alike, and they come in a variety of sizes. The lamps use 99 percent pure cotton wicks and liquid paraffin oil, which burns cleanly and doesn't smoke or smell. Oils are available in a rainbow of colors to accent a room's décor.
Lamps can be purchased online or locally at Corrick's (637 Fourth St., Santa Rosa; 707.546.2424), Sebastopol Hardware (660 Gravenstein Hwy. N., Sebastopol; 707.823.7688), Vanderbilt & Co. (1429 Main St., St. Helena; 707.963.1010) and Nowell's Lighting & Antiques (615 Irwin St., San Rafael; 415.332.4933). Wolfard Glassblowing, 6788 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol. 888.315.4455.
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