Rob Gorrell - Folk Artist

Now excepting orders for August Delivery.

Thanks for making it a great sale.

Rob GorrellComment

I want to thank everyone who bought my lanterns during the Spring Lantern Sale that ended today. The results were way beyond my expectations.

Now I am off to the 2017 Fort Frederick Market Fair on April 29,30 at Fort Frederick Md.  I will be tooling around with my yellow push cart filled with lanterns for sale. 

If you are in the area of the fort I encourage you to stop by for the event. It is one of the two events I do and it is always a good time.  While you are there I would encourage you to check out the work from my fellow tinners, Early American Tin Lighting, Tin Man Roy, and Hot Dip Tin. They are all craftsmen that I admire and am inspired by.

Let's make an English Ship Lantern like the ones on the HMS Victory.

TinwareRob GorrellComment

I have a long list of tin items that I would like to learn to make in my shop. One item near the top of the list is the ship lanterns that are hanging on the HMS Victory in Portsmouth England.  Recently I have been asked by some reenacting groups to make up some examples that they might be able to use in their interpretation of late 18th and early 19th century navy crews.

A problem that I run into in trying to reproduce a period lantern from the late 18th/early 19th century is the difficulty in locating and seeing dated original lanterns.  For the most part they did not survive to our times.  There are various mid to late 19th century lanterns floating around, but earlier lanterns are scarce, or I haven't found them yet.  I have mostly worked from paintings, period drawings and assumptions based on later lanterns.

The best contemporary illustration of the lanterns on the Victory I have found to date is the painting "The Death of Admiral Lord Nelson" by Arthur Devis, 1807.  Devis made sketches for the painting on board the HMS Victory upon her return from the Battle of Trafalgar.

I also received some closeups and dimensions of the lanterns currently on display on the Victory from the museum staff.  The current lanterns look like the lanterns in the painting, but have some necessary modern adaptations.

Photo from HMS Victory website.

Working from this information and advise from other tinsmiths and historians, I started working up a pattern for the lantern.  The first couple of attempts were disasters, but in time I think I worked up a pattern that is a fair interpretation of the lantern.

The panes on this lantern are a modern compromise, being flakes of mica embedded in a resin material.  The original lanterns most likely had thin panes of horn for panes.  Every horn worker that I have talked to says that it would be difficult and expensive to reproduce the horn panes. It is a very labor intensive process and would probably triple the price of the lantern. There is a source for horn panes made from water buffalo horn, but in my opinion they are too dark to be useful. 

This lantern is painted with black oil paint to try to approximate a period oil finish. I do not know if the original Victory lanterns were painted or japanned.

This lantern is fitted for a candle, though the originals may have been whale oil lanterns.

The next step is to talk to the living history people and see what they think of this design.  This lantern is the same size as the originals, 21" tall by 7.5" in diameter.  We might need to compromise a little to make it a little easier to pack to events.  In the meantime I will be putting the current version in my store on this site.

 

 

 

A visit to the Musee du Chocolat.

Rob GorrellComment

Yes I know, this is a blog about traditional trades and such, but everything is connected, right?

We just returned from a return trip to Paris, where we took in all the art, culture, sights and pastries that we could manage in just 8 days.  Paris is and endless source of inspiration for us and in spite of what is being said on the "news", it is still a safe and wonderfully welcoming city.

I wanted to just add a few photos here of some of the tin and wood items on display in the museum. I encourage you to go the website for the museum and look around.

This is neither wood nor tin, but too cool not to include.

choco 6.jpg

Sorry the images are a little blurry. I was taking pics with a cheap cell phone camera in a darkened exhibit through glass.

Some new lanterns on my Etsy page

Rob GorrellComment

I have been playing around with different finishes for my lanterns and ended up with a few lanterns that are a little different that what is in my store on this site.  If you are looking for a mid summer lantern fix, check them out here at my Etsy Store.

 

I also accept custom orders for lanterns if you need something in particular.

Rob