Craftsman Style Lanterns


We are in the process of adding a front porch to our house.  We are building in the craftsman style and needed lanterns to flank the front door.

So for me that means off to the studio to get going on the design and crafting of the lanterns

The metalwork seemed straight forward and then not so.  The sides are all straight and yet they taper into the top.  Now that sounds easy … but No…

The taper needs to be the same on both side and then the two opposite sides have to match.  So making a gig is the only way to get it right.  After making the gig the pieces were cut and welded into place.

After two sides are completed the other sides are welded in and it finally has shape.

photo 3

The top is the challenge for this piece… I have never figured out the mathematics of the slope and the shape of the triangles needed to make the top.  I always start with a triangle which is the right length on the base line.  Then I start subtracting from the angle until the rise ahs the shape needed to look right.  After the size and angle is correct, out comes the plasma cutter and I make the 4 triangles need for the roof.

I place the base under the roof and if everything is done correctly the corners will hit the creases of the roof.  If not… then some encouragement from a 3 lb hammer will make the square 2

The ginkgo is a regular feature in Craftsman style furnishings and needed to be part of our lanterns.  I made a number of leaves and started laying them out to see how they would look on the panes.  I wanted each one to be different and display differently in each pane.  After I came up with the arrangements I welded the stems together and to the frames.

Wife approval was received and the project moved on.

Now I could have cut the glass and installed it myself… but I chickened out and went to see Marty at Glass Creations.  He has all the stained glass you could ever want and has cut more than anyone in the entire town.

Well, the day I was able to get to his studio was a class day and there were a number of women taking his class.  Now these women are not new to stained glass and when I had a problem selecting the correct color they all directed me to Susan.  She was apparently/ universally recognized as the group expert in selecting glass colors… and I quickly learned she did indeed have a gift.  She found a gray glass which looked like marble and would match the colors in the stone and wall of the house. I was not sure that she was right…but everyone else was on her team and so I bowed to wiser peer pressure.

Marty cut the pieces for me and I sealed them into the lantern with a bead of silicone.

After seeing the glass in the lanterns I knew that Susan had been right and this was the perfect color… they looked great!

(yes I worked on it in the house)

Now we fast forward about 12 hours and it is time to put them up on the house.  The electricians had been kind enough to leave the wire nuts and everything right there so…  all I had to do was connect the wires and screw the units to the wall.

done 2

With a flick of the switch I had light.  And it was good.  I love the design and the stained glass really gave it a classic look.

It was lots of fun, and a nice finished product.

done 3

Again, isn’t that what it is all about!




Let me know what you think,

use the link below or

just email me at





  1. They are beautiful–and they are treasures! Great work, Steve!


  2. awesome job Steve


  3. I have seen these up close and personal. They look great. I can’t believe how talented my brother is.


  4. Steve,
    I personally think they are beautiful! Being a crafty person myself, I can appreciate the love you have put into them.. Job well done!
    Deb W.


  5. They are beautiful! You are so talented!


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s