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Price House Light Fixture Demonstration

In September of 2006, Matt Weber of Della Terra Studios was commissioned to re-create several light fixtures for the Historic Price house located near the Chandler Fashion Mall in Chandler, Arizona. 300 S. Chandler Village Dr. The following is a detailed demonstration of the construction of the Doorway Fixtures. Per our contract, we had to re-create these pieces as close to the original drawings as possible.

The project started off with some forging. I stamped the mounting plates with the Flypress, forged some leaves on the ends of twisted stock for the sides, and veined and twisted the supporting arms.

I did some thinking on how to form the dome tops. They are round on top and hexagon on the sides. My first thought was to form the dome from a single piece of round stock, then crease the edges over a stake to form the hexagon shape. This probably would not have been a bad choice if I had not already had the hexagon plates cut. Trying to determine the correct diameter of circle to st art with, and trying to figure how much diameter I would loose in the forming, just to make it fit the hexagon plate was too much. I had visions of throwing many out until I got the right form. So I decided to form it from six separate pieces. This didn't turn out to be bad at all.

I started with a cardboard template to ensure a good fit. Then traced the template onto some 18ga CR sheet, and cut it with the Beverly. Then I clamped them together and sanded the edges smooth to ensure and even fit.

To connect them, the pieces are welded in pairs. This allowed me to hammer them on the the shot bag, and weld them up as they formed together. Non-marring plastic hammers work great for hammering metal that you eventually want smooth. After each dome was completed, I smoothed out any noticeable lumps with the English wheel.

To attach the small decorate twists on top of the domes, I welded a rivet from the back side. This will also serve as the mount for a leafy finial.

For the sides that support the fixture and hold the glass, I used 1/2 angle iron. Since the 90 degree angle of angle iron obviously doesn't match up to the angle of the hexagon, I set the check nut on my Flypress and pressed it to shape.

I also had to give some thought on how the light bulb was going to be changed. These are outdoor fixtures and I want them watertight. So I decided to make a mounting plate, and cut out the bottom of the fixture. The fixtures will be secured from underneath with screws. I was getting anxious and figured this was a good time to add the twists as well.

 

Following the design of the sketches, I used the Flypress to re-create the zig-zag design.

The design called for hood vents. This really makes me wonder what type of lamps these were. I assume from the date of the drawings (1920's-30's) that they were electric. Who knows. But the hood vents make me think they might have been gas lanterns. Anyway, light bulbs don't need vents and I don't want water getting in these fixtures so I made some fake vents. (actually, heat can vent out the tops of the glass pains. However, I still don't think it's necessary)

The design also called for rosettes all around the fixtures. I used the flypress to make some quick and easy rosettes (needed 24 of them) that turned out nice. I sliced 24 wafers about 1/8 inch thick out of 1 1/4 inch cold roll bar with the band saw. Pressed the flower petals in, set the center hole for drilling, set a 1/4 rivet in, and punched it for a flower effect.

Now it's time to assemble the bases. I really like to assemble things standing upright like they will be mounted. I feel it gives you the best perspective to judge the balance and reduces surprises at install time. I made a quick jig out of a 2 x 4 and leveled it off. The wall mounts were pressed against my table so I still had a good ground for welding. I ran a tube along the arm that supports the fixture to run the wiring through. This is both functional and mimics a gas tube that would have been found on gas lanterns.

Finally! All the metalwork is done. Here they are cleaned up and ready for a patina.

I started with PC9 to blacken everything up. Then applied a light rust patina to add some reds. This will go well with the exterior of the house. After washing the chemicals off and thoroughly drying, I apply a light coat of Permalac to see what colors I've got. I then highlighted the textures and various area's with German Silver Gilders Paste. Then applied about five final coats of Permalac.

After cutting the glass and wiring the fixtures, I can call these done! Cheers!

 

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A Working and Instructional Studio specializing in Architectural and Sculptural Glass, Metal, Ceramic’s, and Paints. Della Terra Studios offers a diverse selection of Architectural and Sculptural Fine Art. Della Terra is also an Instructional Studio offering a unique education in the Fine Arts. Offering Home Lighting, Custom Gates, and Architectural Wrought Iron and Glass. Della Terra Studios creates custom stained glass, wrought iron, ceramics, copper, carved glass, and italian plaster wall finishes. Della Terra Studios offers a diverse collection of fine art for your home or office. We specialize in custom Wrought Iron, Stained Glass, Ceramic's, Glass Carvings, Mosaics, Copperwork, and Sculptures in both metal and glass. We offer current works for sale in our Gallery, and we are always available for custom commissions. Della Terra Studios offer classes, intensive workshops and demonstrations as well as private tutoring in Glass and Metalwork. All levels welcome. Open year round. Matt Weber offers classes for all skill levels in Raising all types of sheet metal to form vases, bowls, and several other forms.  He also teaches classes in Chasing and Repousse. Desiree' Costanza offers Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced classes in Stained Glass, Glass Carvings, Paints, and Ceramic sculpture. Mosaic Workshops, Stained Glass Classes, Chasing and Repousse Workshops, Creative Plasterwork Casting, Stained Glass Painting Class, Sculpture Classes & Workshops, Raising Classes & Workshops. Instructors:  Need a place to teach?  Contact us and we can tell you how Della Terra can provide a place for you to teach! Homepage WelcomeThe ArtistServices & Commissions News ~ Press & Selected Publications Demos • 
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