> After checking out the astronomical prices for
> Craftsman- and Mission-style lamp fixtures, I
> thought that I might try fabricating some of our
> own for our new 1909 Craftsman house -- since,
> after all, one of the themes of that movement back
> around the turn of the century was to do things
> like this yourself.
> I've picked up a copy of the Dover reprint of the
> 1911 Popular Mechanics book on this subject, but
> am still looking for help -- a modern take on it,
> sources for Craftsman-type mica sheets, techniques
> for working with metal, etc. Mostly on the web
> I've found lampmaking references to Tiffany or
> stained-glass lamps, which is not exactly what
> I'm after.
> Any suggestions on places to go for ideas and
> advice, and/or sources for materials? What would
> be the best newsgroup or list to post on this
> topic on? Thanks in advance for any help.
> Frank O'Donnell
> South Pasadena, CA
I love Mission style lamps too but originals are simply out of my price
range. There are some very nice reproductions available. Try to find a
copy of Style 1900 or Bungalow at the newstand as these magazines have ads
for the reproduction makers as well as stores in your area that may have
originals for you to examine. I have the same Dover book as you and think
the directions are basically adequate.
I would suggest a visit to two sources: a store near you that sells lamps
and lamp repairs (forget Home Depot!) because they may have used and old
lamp hardware that you can use (you want old discolored brass, not shiny
brass), then visit a store or supplier for stained glass materials as they
will have (or can order) the mica sheets. If they can't cut the mica to
the dimensions you want, then they could give you the names of local
artisans who can.
I'd suggest avoiding the designs with lots of copper bending and soldering
unless you want to learn those skills. In many communities you can finds
classes offered in stained glass which would give you a real leg up on the
On the lamp I plan to build I will retain the mica in grooves routed in a
wood frame rather than use the soldered copper strips.. The rest of the
project is mostly woodwork with possibly a little copper work for
decorative reinforcements. Apparently at one time these lamps were quite a
common home project and I have seen some "home made" lamps at antique
Did you have any specific lamp you wanted to make?