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Spaulding Print Room
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need some help with the hanging pendants. I've come to the conclusion that I shouldn't add any kind of decorative stripe to the glass of the shade, which means that all I need to determine is what would be the decorative elements near the ceiling and just above the shade. I'm really struggling with it though. I think it needs something but I'm not sure what. As I've listed before on page 4 of this thread, I'm looking somewhat at the Heurtley hanging lamp for inspiration. Of course, it isn't helped by the fact that the pendants are drawn differently in each elevation and the perspective.

On some of Wright's pendants, they are hung from four cords instead of one, and those are occasionally decorated near the top or bottom. A great example of this are the famous butterfly lamps in the Dana Thomas dining room. I was thinking that the cord could just be plain and continuous and then split into four near the top and the bottom. I did a very rough approximation of what I'm talking about. Just imagine the white verticals being cords with large balls on them, like the Heurtley light. They would have to be held in place with some kind of square or X-shaped plate.



The problem with this is that I can't find a single example where Wright changed his hanging cords from 1 to 4. I'm open to any and all suggestions. If we can't make it work, there does seem to be an example where the cord is still a single element but with extra decoration on it. I was planning on just adding some of the Heurtley balls to it.

Lastly, there is the problem of whatever it is that hangs down from globe. There is something in all the illustrations, but they all seem to indicate that it's two cords, not one. I don't know what this could be. My current plan is that there will be one hanging cord, with a ball on the end, that would be a pull cord to operate the lamp.

As always, I'd love your collective thoughts.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8143

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As always, simplify. By the time of Spaulding, FLW had set aside his Prairie decorative devices, as well as his planning. He was not likely to use something as elaborate as the Dana light fixtures as a source, although the slightly upturned corners would not be out of bounds. The balled cords, as seen also at Midway, are probably a bit much. Notice that all drawings show pull cords, however. Even that late, wall-mounted light switches were not always used. The lights on the Barnsdall living room furniture had pull chains for the (unexecuted) lights on the posts and the lamps, and toggle switches for the light trays.
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote





I finished the pendant, and I'm happy with it. The plate that attaches to the ceiling is identical to the one on the sconce. Per Wright's drawings, there was something decorative at the top and bottom of the cord, so I added a few spheres. I think it's in the spirit of the drawings, and is similar to what is shown in the perspective drawing. I realized from looking at the Heath light, that part of what sticks above the shade in that example is actually the connection from the cord to the socket. The shade essentially hangs off of it; I copied it as well as I could. I tried to keep it simple.

Architecturally, I think the room is done. All that is left for me is the prints, before I send it to David for him to work his magic. We've discussed it and have decided we're actually going to do two versions of the room. One will have a limited number of Japanese prints in it, in order to emphasize the architecture. The other will be as if Frank Lloyd Wright was holding a print exhibit in the space. He tended to pack them in, so I'm going to copy the effect as best I can without overwhelming the room. Should be fun!
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15494
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is the original image that you used for this shade ? I'm not convinced that the corner flares (for want of a better word) are as large as they should
be. I seem to remember them, or see them in the mind's eye, as occupying a slightly or somewhat larger portion of the overall form. As I see it here, if they
were as large as I recall them, there wouldn't be a need for further decoration.

What do you think ? I'm not going to review the rest of the advancements until I've seen an answer to this question.

SDR
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



If anything SDR, I made the corner flares too big. They were more substantial on the Heath lights - perhaps that's what you were thinking of?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15494
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm -- I guess so. Just shows my taste differs from that of the master -- on occasion . . .

Now to see what else you've done. I'd still opt for less invention on these shades, than more. Just because the digital modeler is able to devise new antenna for
the ladybug, or spots for the butterfly, doesn't mean that he has to . . . !

What we see in Wright, and what your explorations bring out, is that he liked to invent, to explore. Each job was an opportunity to try something new. So, while
it might be "legit" to pick details from other commissions of the same period, it's a toss-up as to what he would have done here, when it isn't recorded.

I therefore agree with Roderick; if your aim is to make it Wright, the less inventing you do the greater the likelihood that you've done no wrong. If, however, your
desire is to create, perhaps historic recreation isn't your field . . . ?

SDR
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if you look at the perspective drawing, on the first page of this thread, you'll see that I followed that drawing pretty closely. In fact, I have fewer little spheres (or whatever they're supposed to actually be) than is shown in that drawing. I tried to keep it simple without being severe.

Also, regarding the size of the globe, it's proportionately similar to the Heath light. I realize it seems small, but I think that's what Wright was going for.


Last edited by Meisolus on Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15494
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay -- well, if both the spirit and the letter (where possible) of the original are observed, that's the best that can be done.

S
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Okay -- well, if both the spirit and the letter (where possible) of the original are observed, that's the best that can be done.


That's always my goal. It's hard not to insert yourself into these things, and it's going to happen from time to time, but hopefully the end result is at least close to what it would have been.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8143

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The size of the shades, the scale of the corner "upturns" and the few decorative spheres look good to me. Is that a sphere within, or a spherical bulb? There would have been a bare bulb, which was commonplace in those days, and the pull chain would be off to one side; penetrating the bulb would interfere with the vacuum within the bulb that makes it work. The fixture into which the bulb is set would extend down a couple of inches, a mundane, off-the-shelf socket with the pull chain to one side, possibly even draped against the bulb. Perhaps you are too young to have encountered such a fixture? I have one in my closet.
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm flattered that you think I'm too young to have encountered one, Roderick. Smile

I debated about what you're saying, but all the sketches show the cord going straight down, so I assumed it's a globe with a smaller bulb inside.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8143

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing I have been thinking about is the material of the shades. In all probability, the space between the skylight and the lay light would accommodate electric lights to turn the lay light into a light fixture, as he did at Hollyhock (1919), and as early as Unity Temple ("Unity Temple," Joseph M. Siry, page 173). That would mean that the 4 hanging fixtures would not be needed at all for ambient lighting. Notice in the sections that the hanging fixtures are half way below some of the prints on display, so they would cast disturbing shadows and refracted light on them if the shades were glass. They were apparently intended to be used for prints located on tables and easels. I think FLW may have intended them to be metal, perhaps enameled in white on the underside, and some other color on top. That is not to say it is so, but it's something to think about.
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick, I agree with you about the lights within the skylight, especially if Wright was doing that as early as Unity Temple. David should be able to use that for the lighting. While I agree that the height of the pendant lights is problematic, I'm not sure about your suggestion that they should only throw light down. The height they are shown at is maddening - they are so low you would have to walk around them - and I also agree with you that they would throw odd shadows on the prints as a result. However, I don't know of any version of a pendant light that Wright did with a metal shade. In the absence of an example, I'm thinking they have to stay as they are for the moment. Fortunately if the material does need to be changed, that can be done easily. It will be up to David though as that's his department.

Do you have an example from about this period?
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Version #1 is basically complete, or my portion at least. David will be handling the furniture and rendering. We decided to do two different versions, one that had a minimal amount of prints to focus on the architecture, and one that was meant to look like Wright was holding a print exhibition in the space. This is the print exhibition version.

Every single print actually belonged to the Spauldings. Most of them were bought through Wright. Some of them used to be in Wright's personal collection. They are all shown their actual sizes. I tried to base the presentation on the show he did at the Art Institute in 1908. He favored large matting, and had them hung from a picture rail closely together. I'm sure my interpretation isn't perfect, and never will be, but I think it is good enough. The amount of time I spent downloading the prints, sizing the prints, and agonizing over the size of the matting and where to put each one in relation to the others took more time than actually creating the room. It wasn't helped by the fact that there didn't seem to be an overarching philosophy to Wright's matting choices, and that the mats shown in the Spaulding drawings were smaller than what he favored in exhibition. Decisions had to be made and I'm sure you won't agree with all of mine, but please know they were extremely thought-filled.

I could go on and on, but enough of my rationalizations. I hope you all enjoy this. I think it gives the feel of being in the space. And I know David will knock our socks off with his version once it's done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfzoojeJ44o&feature=youtu.be
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15494
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think that's magnificent.

I particularly appreciate your video presentation, for its perfect pacing.

Perhaps David will add a curtain to the closet opening next to the fireplace. That's the only thing missing, as I see it.

A plus for me, and I imagine for others, will be a chance to review the prints that Mr Wright favored. It is one thing to say "Hiroshige" or "Hokusai," or to
recall Wright's few and vague words about what he saw in the work; it is infinitely more helpful to see the prints themselves -- and many of them, in one place.

Bravo, and thank you.

SDR
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