Birch Point Elk Antler Chandelier
Posted by bighornforge on May 28, 2016
This is the Birch Point Chandelier. Designed and executed by Dan Nauman. It was installed May 26, 2016 near Hayward in northern Wisconsin. I was assisted in the installation by my assistant, Jeremiah Backhaus, who also helped me with some aspects of making this piece. One of the owners, as well as his friend who did the timber frame work on this lodge (hand hewing and all), also helped with the install.
The piece is approx. 72″ x 84″, with a 10-1/2′ drop. It is made of mild steel, copper, slumped glass, and elk antler sheds. I made almost every piece on this chandelier, through hand forging, and French repousse’. The exceptions were three collars that were bored out by a friend, as I did not have a large enough drill bit for my lathe, nor a boring bar. I also had the patterns for the birch leaves laser cut by Muthig Industries in Fond du Lac, WI. The stems were cut purposely wide, so I could forge them down to round. I then hand-veined, then hot-sunk the leaves into a tree stump to give them volume and movement. The piece was sand-blasted, and has a poly-chrome paste finish. John Abler, of Abler Art Glass in Kiel, WI (firstname.lastname@example.org) made the two glass shades which are 10″ and 14″ in diameter. The glass was slumped in sections, and leaded together to from a hemisphere.
The elk antler sheds came from Idaho, specifically: Yellowstone Antlers, Donovan Shipton (email@example.com). Don did a fine job of finding three matched sets, that were relatively close in size from one set to the other.
The piece was wired by Zach Skarda at Heritage Lighting, Cedarburg, WI (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The piece was sandblasted. I then applied black Gilders Paste (TM). Once dried, I polished the entire piece. A second application of paste was applied to give the piece bronze highlights. The image below better illustrates those highlights.
Once the piece was installed, the owners delighted us by giving us a tour of this fine lodge, designed to give the feeling of a 1940’s vintage east coast hunters lodge, complete with full bear mount, elk shoulder mount, a mammoth wood fireplace in the great room, and of course, a timber-frame log construction…of which was hand-hewed locally by artisans. Further, they prepared a fine meal centered around a side of bison, prepared to your liking, asparagus, wild rice, fine red wine, ice wine after supper, and also strawberry rhubarb pie and strawberry shortcake…all home-made, and all served beneath the warm glow of the newly installed elk-antler chandelier.
The evening was capped off by stories and yarns. I awoke early the next morning (5:45), made coffee, and from the porch overlooking the lake, I watched the sun’s rise. Serenaded by loons, and entertained by two otters, the morning started off perfectly. Our hosts then prepared a fine breakfast, and again we dined under the light of the chandelier. A delightful climax for a journey that began last December.
28 May, 2016