Gamble House Inglenook Sconce

I’m so pleased with the “Blacker sconces” I made that I decided to make another Greene and Greene inspired sconce.  When I started on the Blacker sconce I’d imagined it in my entry hall.  I made two instead of one on a whim, and along the way I decided to use them above the stairs going upstairs and downstairs.

That’s great, because the existing sconces there were anemic.  But I still had an ugly sconce in the entry hall as a result.  After staring at a number of G&G fixtures I decided to make something like the pair of sconces in the Gamble House Inglenook.

The Inglenook at the Gamble House

The Inglenook at the Gamble House

I really like these sconces.  The upturned ends really shows off the Asian influence, and the wandering vine design on the glass is both balanced and organic.  The Gamble house is a BIG house, and mine isn’t.  In the inglenook these sconces are not overpowering, but at full scale it might be too much in my tiny entry hall.  I expect I’ll need to scale them down a little.  They are also roughly square in design — that is the width and depth look to be about the same.  I’m expecting that I’ll need to have that aspect be slightly different too.

Closeup of the sconce

Closeup of the sconce

I’ve looked at every picture of this sconce that I can find to get a sense of the style and proportions.  I loaded this particular image into a CAD program, and scaled it so that the stiles measured about 3/4″ wide, then I picked up the measurements for all of the different dimensions from the image.  I think the stiles are actually closer to 5/8″ wide, based on when I saw this in person several months ago.  I need to make another trip to LA I guess.

But, with the stiles scaled to a known dimension, and everything scaled relative to that I figured I could at least get a 2D drawing cranked out with the right proportions, even if the scale was off from the original (or from what I’ll need to fit in my house).  I drew it up and printed it out full size.  It was too big for the hall, but at about 80% of full size the front view looks like it will work just fine.

There are some interesting details I haven’t put in the rough drawing.  For example, look at the shape of the cut out in the upper rail.  It’s not a straight, square slot.  It tapers slightly towards the ends and the tips are slightly scooped out.  Look too at the lower rail, it looks like the small step in the cloud lift at the bottom flares out slightly as it meets the stile.  There are small ebony bars on the top and bottom of the “roof”, almost like breadboard ends.  As I recall, they are pinned in place with brass brads.  Also, there are two inlay bars in the lower rail that almost disappear.  When I saw this in person they looked like oak strips.  There are lots of little details like this that will make or break the final look of my interpretation.

I’m not sure about how deep to make it, but my inclination is to have it be about 80% to 90% of the front width.  The sides don’t have the same cloud lift detail in the bottom profile of the rails, although they do have the piercing in the top rail.  Plenty of little details to sort out.  I’m going to update my 2D sketch to the scale that I think will work, and do a side view too.  That should be enough for me to model the whole sconce and determine the dimensions for the joinery – at which point I should be able to start making kindling.

First Draft Sketch

First Draft Sketch


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