2023 Addison Mizner Award for Craftsmanship

Finished replications of the original black and verdigris lanterns appear lit.

Two Reproductions of c. 1929 Exterior Lanterns 

Palm Beach, Florida


A 24,000 square-foot, 1929 landmarked jewel of an estate on Ocean Drive in Palm Beach is the installation site of the project for two sets of antique lantern reproductions, the recipient of the 12th Annual Addison Mizner Award for Craftsmanship. 

A tapered, beveled rectangular lantern was reproduced in a quantity of one. It was affectionately nicknamed “Maleficent” by the design engineer while drafting the large horn-like leaves that would be snipped and hammered by hand. The other, a maritime-themed round, tapered, lantern detailed with twisted rope ladders and surmounted by a painted flag, was reproduced in a quantity of four. Both types required us to flex a breadth and depth of expertise in metal and glass-working and finishing techniques. 

A brass sheet being trimmed to create a shark tooth pattern around the edges, and then rolled into a scroll leaf  shape.Compound curves a-plenty, each was cut from flat sheet and formed individually, heavily relying on some of the shop’s oldest forming tools (c. 1910 sheet roller) and an operator who developed the order of steps that resulted in natural, curling foliage to closely mimic the 1920s’ original. 

The spinning process - a flat disc of brass being mounted on a spinning lathe, spun into the desired shape, and then fired.
Another metalforming technique used was spinning. Shown is the brass sheet being sheared to size (above left), spun over a custom chuck (middle) and torch-annealed to prevent cracking after work-hardening (above right).
A brass rope twist detail being bent, prepared for welding and attached to the crown of the fixture.
Twisting 5/16” brass bar around itself on the lathe gave us braid bands which were rolled to the correct radius and brazed together.
A door being soldered onto the brass lantern body, completed lantern bodies, and a body ready for sandblasting in preparation for patina.
Preparation is the key to a finish with character and longevity. We create and prepare sub-assemblies of parts where possible. Rather than finishing each individual part and then assembling and joining, parts can be joined in fabrication for ease and quality of finishing and final assembly. Shown above are bodies being soldered for assembly (at left) and in the sandblasting machine to receive a preparatory satin (right) and, further, emerging from the browning acid patina (below left). 
A black lantern with intricate leaf motifs emerging from its top, positioned in front of a set of verdigris lanterns.
Making a verdigris patina with natural variegation is a multi-step process. The rope ladders shown in the middle image above illustrate three stages: sandblasted, browning/blackening patina, and greening verdigris patina. Still remaining for the verdigrised rope ladder is a buff with butcher’s wax which leaves a soft sheen and increases dimension of the custom metalwork’s fine details. 
Two original vintage fixtures, one black and one verdigris, hanging in their original, pre-restored state.
The originals in the rough state they were received by us: beyond repair for re-installation in a site with salt air and high winds.
See more of our selected custom work by viewing the Custom Gallery.