Designing a Mission Sconce

One of my ulterior motives with woodworking these days is to slowly fix up my house.

It’s a nice house in a desirable area, but the demands of working and raising a family have distracted money and attention elsewhere the past few years.  I eventually want to make new kitchen cabinets, and some other smaller remodeling projects.  While I’m making this Byrdcliffe-inspired cabinet for the guest room I realized that the lighting in that room isn’t right.  There isn’t any built-in lights in the room, the wall switch controls a plug.  I’m not a big fan of overhead lights (and my wife absolutely hates them), so the lack of an overhead light ins’t a big deal in itself.

My idea is to make a pair of sconces that can hang on either side of the main window in the room, and wire them into the wall switch.  That means tearing into the drywall to get the wires where they need to go, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Since I’m using a Dard Hunter design for the glass in the cabinet door, I decided to use his art as inspiration for the sconces too.  I thought this dragonfly design could be interesting in a sconce.

Dard Hunter Dragonfly Design

Dard Hunter Dragonfly Design

I modeled my idea in CAD, basically a simple Oak L-bracket with a corbel, and a stained glass shade.  I’m not 100% satisfied with the design, but the way this works for me is I need to take a cut at the design and then come back to it later.  Generally I see things that I can tweak to make it better.  I also find that it’s too easy to get the scale wrong on this sort of thing – so I’ll print out the pattern full-scale at Kinkos later this week so I can hold it in place in the room and make sure the size is OK.

Overall I like it, I think I’ll probably make this next. (the colors for the glass in the rendering are lame-o, this is just a quick rendering to check the overall effect)

Design for a sconce

Design for a sconce

Sconce Design

Sconce Design

Layout for Sconce

Layout for Sconce



I printed the pattern for the glass and it seemed too big.  The dragonfly body was also a bit off (and a bit too phallic, pfrankly) so I made a few changes.  I shortened the wall bracket, and pulled the shade closer to the wall.  I also tweaked the body of the dragonfly, and shortened the shade.  I like it better.  I’ll print out a scale drawing of the whole contraption tomorrow and hang it on the wall to stare at.  I didn’t re-do the renderings – maybe after I’m sure this is the right scale.

Updated model of the sconce

Updated model of the sconce


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