Clara Driscoll was born in 1861 and died in 1944. Clara graduated from Western Reserve School of Design for Women in 1882. She then attended the Metropolitan Museum Art School in New York and was hired by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1888. In 1892 Clara was made head of the Women's Glass Cutting Department, in charge of 35 women. Besides being in charge of the Dept., she was responsible for creating designs for lampshades and mosaics. The reason why Tiffany hired female glass cutters was that the male-only Lead Glaziers and Glass Cutters Union was on strike. Clara left Tiffany in 1909 to get married, as married women were not allowed to work there. She went on to paint silk scarves. Her letters revealed the anonymous contributions of the women that worked in the Glass Cutting Department.
Clara Driscoll has been identified as the designer of many of the iconic Tiffany lampshades.
Clara died in 1944 and her work at Tiffany has been long forgotten.
Can you imagine being the woman that sat and designed those lampshades that adorned so many homes and still do and the patterns that are still used today? Oh my goodness. I love her story but wish she had gotten some recognition. Now when I use one of those precious patterns I will think of Clara.
To shadow her would be wonderful, though hard back in the day. Women did not have the freedom we have today. Clara thank you for leaving behind a wonderful legacy for all glass workers to use today and in the future.
Who would you want to shadow?