Blacker House Sconce

I really like the Greene & Greene aesthetic, and have been wanting to fix up my house following in the same style.  I have grandiose visions of someday doing a kitchen remodel, but between work and family there is precious little time.  So, baby steps then.

I’ve been looking at lighting fixtures from different Greene & Greene houses, looking for one that I like and at the same time seems achievable within my budget, skills and tools.  I think the only thing that truly fits those criteria is a bare 60 watt bulb hanging from the ceiling, but I digress.

I’ve settled on a sconce that was made for the Blacker house.  I’ve never been to the Blacker house, so I’m taking a small leap of faith here, but I do like the design.  This particular light was made by Jeff Grainger (  Jeff’s rendition is great, the proportions look right to me, the parts are rounded appropriately, but it doesn’t look like someone took a router to it.

Blacker House Sconce

Blacker House Sconce

Blacker House Sconce, Side View

Blacker House Sconce, Side View

So, how can I make one of these?  I need to figure out the size of the parts, then figure out the joinery, light mounts and making stained glass.  Yikes.  The dimensions on Jeff’s web site say it’s 9″w x 7″d x 15″h.  I imported the front view picture into Sketchup and scaled it until the width of the widest part was about 9″.  Then I could use the tape measure tool to pick up approximate dimensions for the main elements.

Picking up Dimensions

Picking up Dimensions

The stiles seem to be about 1/2″ square by 6.5″ long.  The rails are wider, my first cut was 5/8″ wide and 7/16″  deep.  After I had the first version drawn in Sketchup it wasn’t quite right.  I had to widen the stiles slightly (to 11/16″) and thin out the lantern top and breadboard ends.  I think it’s close in this view, what do you think?  The rounding on the ends of the different parts makes it tough to be absolutely sure, but I think it’s close.

Current Model

Current Model

I think the depth is close too, maybe it should be a tiny bit shallower, maybe 1/8″?  I’m not sure about mounting the stained glass, for now I have a 1/8″ x 1/8″  rebate cut into the back edge of the openings.  I’ll play with this more and see if I can get a decent looking model, then add in joinery.  There just isn’t a lot of room for joinery, the parts are all pretty small.  This should be interesting.

Model Side View

Model Side View

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Blacker House Sconce

  1. I didn’t know that you could do what you did in sketch up. I might have to buy Lang’s sketch up DVD’s.

  2. Lookin’ good!! I’m dying to see how you’re going to make all those curved edges. I remember standing in the Gamble house and wondering how that did all that with out a power router.

    • I think the rounding is a job for rasps and sanding. A router wouldn’t look right.

      I think I should make an experimental mockup in pine, just to get a better sense of the size and joinery.

  3. steve wood

    have you thouht about mica in stead of stained glass?

    • Not for this particular project, but I have a half dozen sheets of mica in the shop, left over from another project. I like the effect of the different colors in the stained glass and I want to try to get reasonably close to reproducing this as it was done originally.

      Mica, or just colored art glass would both be good possibilities otherwise.

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