Planning the Next Step on the Sconce

I haven’t had any time in the shop since last weekend, but I’ve been thinking about the next step on the “Inglenook Sconce”.  I’m convinced that cutting the slot with a fret saw is the way to go.  It could perhaps be done other ways; perhaps with a carving chisel or small gouge, but it’s a pretty narrow slot and the seems like an inefficient way to get the job done.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time staring at pictures of the original, and I think my original layout for the piercing is too square and flat.  See what you think:

My Original Layout for the Piercing

My Original Layout for the Piercing

The Original Gamble House Inglenook Sconce

The Original Gamble House Inglenook Sconce

I’ve looked at this photo a lot.  I googled for better pictures and found someone that makes a reproduction.  For comparison, here is their interpretation.  It’s a nice piece, but it doesn’t capture some of the important details in my opinion.  The wall bracket they added is a clever idea, and I think the shape of the roof is nice.  What is missing are the rounded, irregular, organic details of the original.  But specifically, look at the treatment of the piercing.  On it’s own, it’s fine.  But in a side-by-side comparison with the original it’s mechanical and bland.

Commercial Reproduction of the Gamble Sconce

Commercial Reproduction of the Gamble Sconce

In my search of the internet I found a slightly different perspective of the sconce.  Notice how the “wings” of the piercing appear to taper slightly?  And the size of the opening isn’t consistent anywhere.  The radius around the outline of the cloud life shape has the outside corners of the profile more rounded than the inside corners — look closely at the tab in the middle.  And the ends of the opening are slightly scooped out.

Detail of the Piercing on the Sconce

Detail of the Piercing on the Sconce

I probably tend to over-think some design details like this, and under-think other things.  This particular problem has been on my mind all week as I’m commuting back and forth to work.  So last night I sat down at the computer and tweaked my layout for the piercing.  I’m really pleased with the revised shape I came up with.  I think after I gently round the edges of the opening and slightly scoop out the ends it will be pretty close to the original, and certainly captures the same feel.

Now the trick is to be able to execute this design accurately.  I have a plan for that.  The good news is that it doesn’t depend on a megawatt CNC laser, that’s the backup plan.

Updated Layout for the Piercing in the Top Rail

Updated Layout for the Piercing in the Top Rail

 

 

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One thought on “Planning the Next Step on the Sconce

  1. Mike Hamilton

    Excellent. Much more in keeping with the “Thunderbird” feel of the original.

    Mike

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