Rob Gorrell - Folk Artist

Get your lanterns now. It will be dark soon.

red lantern

Weekend Sale on new Open Top Lantern Design.

Rob GorrellComment

It is always nice to be able to study an antique piece before trying to make something similar. Sometimes the old lantern is behind glass in a museum, or on a museum website. In these cases you are limited to the view presented to you, but it better than nothing. Once in a while you run into an original in someone’s private collection and get to put your hand on it, which is great. You can get measurements and see little construction details that might be new to you as a builder.

Recently my friend Richard called and said he had an old lantern for me to take a look at. It appears to be an original 19th century lantern that has seen some abuse, Over the years someone has painted it with what looks like aluminum roof paint, and replaced missing horn panes with some sort of acetate or plastic panes.

It is an interesting lantern and a design that I have not made before. The open top with the heat shield attached to the handle is new to me and the proportions are a little different from my other lantern designs. I also like the triple beading on the body and the top cone.

Richard lantern 6.jpg

I fiddled around with the design a few times and came up with my variation on the lantern. It is an evolving pattern and is not an exact copy. But not too far off I think.


Image by Michelle Waters Photography.

I have three of these lanterns on sale TODAY for $70 each. Click on the image below to shop.

Image by Michelle Waters Photography

Image by Michelle Waters Photography

Image by Michelle Waters Photography

Image by Michelle Waters Photography

Image by Michelle Waters Photography

Image by Michelle Waters Photography

My version of a round 18th century lantern.

Rob GorrellComment

I have been spending a lot of my shop time learning to develop patterns for tin lanterns based on photographs of original lanterns held in museum collections.  I have not had the opportunity to get my hands on the actual lanterns to see all of the details. However, the museum documentation often gives good details for dimensions of the lanterns.  So armed with photographs, rulers, dividers and overall dimensions I try to work out a new pattern to make the lantern.

The red lantern shown here is my interpretation of the original 18th century lantern held in the collections of the Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston. I have reprinted the image below with permission from the museum.

Photograph (c) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In my lantern I used composite mica panels in place of the horn panes. Learning to make the horn panes is still on my to do list for now.

It was an interesting process to develop this pattern as the lantern body is made differently from other lanterns I have worked on. In most other round lanterns I have studied the body is made in one or two pieces with the pane areas cut out.  In the BFA lantern the top and bottom round sections, and the three vertical dividersare made seperately and then soldered together. I can see advantages to both methods and am undecided at the moment as to which I prefer.

This lantern is painted with a barn red water-based finish.

This lantern can be ordered in the shop section of this site.