Affordable, antique lighting fixtures in many styles, circa 1885-1945. Chandeliers, pendants, sconces. Victorian, Craftsman, Art Deco & more.
We invite you to come see these wonderful lighting fixtures in person, at our store at 203 F Street, in historic Old Town Eureka.
While visiting Humboldt County, you'll find a wealth of possibilities for things to see and do. The area features miles of unspoiled coastline, and awe inspiring, old growth redwoods -- the largest trees on earth. The wild and scenic rivers are a wonderful way to experience the outdoors from an amazing perspective. You'll find unique and lovely towns and communities along the North Coast, all with interesting history, wonderful specialty shops and great choices for dining. There are lots of great resources for more information. Here are just a few:
Be sure while in Old Town to check out The Carson Mansion, an amazing example of American Queen Anne style, built in 1884-1886. This is according to Wikipedia, where you'll find The Carson Mansion on the main page for Victorian Architecture.
Here in Old Town you'll also find Old Town Carriage Company prepared to give a good old fashioned clip clop carriage ride through Old Town. It's a really fun way to have just a bit of a tour guide experience. They park just across the street from our shop. Or call local historian Ray Hillman, for an in-depth historic tour of our fair city. 707-445-2117.
Our Featured Artists for the Month of December, 2014:
Hans Spek, Oil Paintings.
Janet Frost, Watercolor Paintings.
"Still Life," Hans Spek
My art training started in Holland where I was born. During my teenage years I went to a private art school for about three years and one year private classes with one of the art teachers of that school and who also helped me out during my high school years. With that came also art history, drawing in- and outdoors, along with everything around us. As a child I spent considerable time drawing. I suppose that having been born in Holland is also an advantage. Museums are plentiful in Holland and have the finest art on display. During my time in Holland (till I was 24 and including 5 years of war) there were a good number of artists. It was great to grow up during the years of Anton Pieck, a great artist and illustrator who worked for 80 years and inspired many would be painters. I consider my teachers as some of the best. I missed Rien Poortvliet who died a few years ago and was also a great painter and illustrator (The farm book, Noah's ark, Journey to the ice age etc.) and introduced us to the red pointed hat gnomes.
In 1958 my wife and I moved to Canada where I took classes again at the art institute in Calgary, Alberta.
In 1963 we moved to California. We lived mostly in Orange County and again I joined a small art group for about 6 years and started teaching there. Later I taught at my studio at home.
In 2003 we moved to Fortuna, Ca., where I now work in my new studio. It is a little like starting all over after living in Santa Ana for 40 years.
Most of my work is landscapes and still lifes but also I have done portrait and religious work.
I am not particularly interested to hook up with any movement or spooky art groupies who have bad explanations for bad art. I do not get "inspired" by anything, I just like to paint and keep learning. I paint those things that interest me. Most of my work is imaginary, often based on what I have seen or remember. My "style" could be called "traditional naturalism."
Many of my paintings were commissioned, and I have had patrons who have supported me in many ways. I have had shows and showed in galleries in La Jolla, Carmel, San Francisco and Tustin Ca.
I am nobody big and I let my work speak for itself.
"Startled," Janet Frost
Janet Frost earned a B.A., majoring in art, from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. While living in the San Diego area after graduation, she continued her art education by enrolling in local classes in drawing and watercolor painting, including several post-graduate classes at UC San Diego. Eventually, she moved to Humboldt County to work for College of the Redwoods and later for the Humboldt County Office of Education, where she was employed as Executive Assistant until her retirement in 2009.
She is currently working in both watercolors and oils and describes her experience of taking up painting again after so many years as "challenging, but very rewarding." Although much of her early work tended towards abstraction, she finds herself currently more interested in representational art, focusing on depicting the interesting light patterns and textures she observes in the natural world around her. Much of the inspiration for her work comes from her garden and the lush scenic beauty of Humboldt County, but she also enjoys depicting the contrasting climate and wildlife of central Oregon, where she and her husband have a vacation home on the Deschutes River.
"As a representational artist, subject matter is important to me. But, once Iâ€™m involved in working on a painting, the challenge of solving fundamental painting problemsâ€”composition, line, color and value selectionâ€”is what holds my interest. Each painting is like working out a puzzle. Some paintings come together relatively quickly for me, while others are real efforts. In the end, I hope viewers can enjoy my work as much as I enjoyed the process and challenge of painting it."
Janet is the president of the Fortuna Art Council, a member of the Redwood Art Association, and a member of the Ferndale Arts Gallery, where her work is currently on display. She has also exhibited at the Redwood Art Association Gallery, the Morris Graves Museum, the Old Town Gallery in Eureka, the Fortuna Downtown Storefront Gallery, the North Coast Credit Union in Fortuna, Redwood Capital Bank in Fortuna, and Strehl's Family Shoes.
Her watercolor, "Orchard Remnants," recently received the fourth place award at the 2014 juried Redwood Art Association Spring Exhibit. She has also had her work juried into the Redwood Art Association exhibit at the Morris Graves Museum.
She has been working with Fortuna artist, Hans Spek, for the past year to improve her oil painting technique and develop skills in color and composition in representational art.
Janet resides in Fortuna with her husband, David. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Arts! Alive - Eureka
Join us for Arts! Alive, from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month, a gala arts walk in Old Town and Downtown Eureka. Every gallery, store and restaurant that showcases the work of local artists is open, the artists whose works are on exhibit are usually present to talk with you about what they do, refreshments are sometimes served, live music can often be heard, and hordes of happy people of all ages stroll from place to place, soaking in the scene and seeing a lot of great artwork. Visitors to the area who love the arts and the best of small town life, would do well to plan their trip to coincide with this monthly, year-round, rain-or-shine event.
Next Arts! Alive: Saturday, January 3, 2015
Old Town Antique Lighting, corner of 2nd & F:
Hans Spek and Janet Frost
Oil and watercolor paintings.
Most of the chandeliers and pendants pictured here, can be lengthened or shortened or otherwise modified to be suitable for most ceilings. Often, we can offer to shorten a piece at no extra charge, or lengthen it for a modest surcharge, or make a fixture that was designed for a level ceiling, suitable for installation from a sloped ceiling.
Please inquire about the possibility of hanging a certain fixture in a particular location in your home, before ruling it out based on its length or design.
How high is your ceiling?
To determine the proper length of your lighting fixture, we need to know the height of the ceiling where it will be installed, and whether it will be an overhead light or hang over a table (or kitchen counter or bar). We'll also need to know whether the ceiling is level, or sloped (a.k.a. pitched, cathedral).
The easiest way to measure the height of your ceiling, requires a 1" wide, retractable tape measure. Pull it out a few feet and, bending it over, put the end on the floor. Repeatedly pulling out more tape, advance the bend in the tape upward until it touches the ceiling. If you cannot read the tape at that height, grasp both legs of the bent-over tape and lower it down to eye level to get your reading. If you are math-challenged, think only in terms of inches, not feet -- it will be so much easier.
If your fixture is to hang overhead, we feel it is necessary that it hang no lower than 80" (6'8"), the height of a standard door jamb, and we would generally recommend at least 84" (7') whenever possible.
If your ceiling is at least ten feet high, it is helpful to consider a general rule of pleasing proportions, that a lighting fixture should hang one-third of the way to the floor. To follow this guideline, from a twelve-foot ceiling, a fixture would hang 48" to a height of 96" (8'); from an eleven-foot ceiling, it would hang 44" to a height of 88" (7'4"); from a ten-foot ceiling, it would hang 40" to a height of 80" (6'8"). I think most with a ten-foot ceiling, however, would be happier with a fixture 36" long, that hung no lower than 7' high, especially if they are fairly tall.
Over the dining table
I feel that the old rule of thumb, that a chandelier should hang down to a height of 30" above the table, is too low for most homes today. If the top of a dining table is 30" high, give or take an inch, this rule would place the bottom of a chandelier at only five foot high. While this might be fine for a formal dining room in a traditional setting, where family and guests enter and immediately sit, and stay seated until they rise and leave the room, today, many have a dining table more integrated with the rest of the home, and often socialize in a more informal way, standing in the kitchen or around the table, and talking to one another across the table. I am 6'2" tall, and in order for a chandelier not to be "in my face," interfering with making direct eye contact across the table with another tall person, it needs to be a little higher than that. Some say that we are taller than our eighteenth century counterparts, due perhaps to better nutrition. Also, our modern incandescent and flourescent lamps both are much brighter than the candle, oil lamp, open-flame gas and early electric lighting of over a century ago, when a luminaire had to be hung as low as possible to give enough light down at table level. Therefore, in most situations, I recommend that a lighting fixture be sized to hang down to 6' (72") high over the table or kitchen counter or bar, or at the most, to 5'8" (68"), if the visual mass is not the lowest portion of the fixture. This means a fixture 24-28" long from an eight-foot ceiling, 36" long from a nine-foot ceiling, 48" long from a ten-foot ceiling, etc.
Eight foot ceilings
If you have eight foot ceilings, you may consider the lights in our "chandeliers" catagory for over your dining table, as many of them can be shortened to 24" or so. Elsewhere, you can shop the "flushmount" category, for fixtures that mount flush to the ceiling or hang no lower than 16" (for a minimum clearance of 6'8" (80").
For bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms especially, consider bead-chain fixtures, with beautiful shades from the 1930s-early '40s. There are many lovely vintage shades available, which we sell mainly with new fixtures, either solid brass (polished and lacquered, or nickel plated and polished), or steel (which are cheaper, but susceptible to rust). If this is the type of fixture for you, choose the shade you like (letter suffix), and the type of new fixture you want (solid brass or steel) and its finish (brass -- polished and lacquered, brass -- plated with nickel and polished, brass -- with applied finish of paint and/or tinted lacquer; or steel -- unfinished, or steel -- with applied finish). Applied finishes include "antique brass," "oil rubbed bronze," "coppery chocolate," "satin black," "antique gold," etc.) Note, these fixtures have just one light (60 watt max.), hang only about ten inches from the ceiling with shade, are not very expensive, and can be changed up easily by acquiring alternate shades (seasonally, when you tire of that color, etc.).
If you have a sloped ceiling, and are in love with a gaslight, gas-electric combination, or early electric pendant or chandelier, some modification will have to be made to your fixture, to allow it to hang plumb from a ceiling that is not level. Remember, gas lighting required plumbing; the iron pipe bringing gas to a chandelier came out of a level ceiling at a right angle to the ceiling. (A "gas" light that hangs from a chain is the easiest bogus reproduction to spot!) Such a fixture can be modified to have a loop at the top of its down rod which can interlock with a loop on a low-profile canopy, or can be joined to a loop on the canopy with a single link of chain. Or, an adjustable, brass swivel can be interposed between the top of the downrod and the canopy. However, either method will spoil somewhat the historic authenticity of such a fixture.
Alternatively, a wooden, wedge shaped block can be attached to your ceiling at the point where the pendant or chandelier will be installed, to provide a level point for its mounting. This can be textured if necessary and painted to blend in with your ceiling, and would mean your gas or early electric fixture would not have to be altered from its original design. A half-inch deep, surface mounted "pancake" junction box could be screwed to the bottom surface of the wedge, for a respectable installation by today's standards. Talk to your contractor or handyman about the feasibility of this approach in your situation.
If a fixture you are interested in, hangs on a chain from a deep canopy with a blind stem, here we would also recommend switching to a relatively flat, or low-profile canopy, so that such a stem would not protrude from the canopy at a weird angle, before the chain hangs plumb from that point.
Your junction box (or lack thereof)
Unless you request otherwise, your lighting fixture will come with a crossbar or bracket for mounting to a modern junction box, which we assume will be recessed in the ceiling or wall, its bottom or front surface more or less flush with the surface of the ceiling or wall. If you would rather we provide an old-fashioned, three- or four-footed iron or steel mounting foot which screws directly through the lath and plaster into a ceiling joist or wall stud, or if you intend to install to a pancake junction box, please let us know! The contour of some canopies will not cover a pancake j-box, and the inner pipe of your pendant or chandelier may have to be shortened slightly to attach to either type of surface mounted hardware, as the outer tubing of the downrod may not be long enough to allow the canopy to slide down the additional half inch or more.
We try to make all our products a cinch to install. Just let us know what you've got, so we can make sure you get what you need!
Fun with lighting vocabulary!
Sconce, conch, scone or sconch?
Chandeliers, gaseliers, candelabra, oh my!
Pendant or pendulum?
Other Frenchy and confusing words
Anatomy of a luminaire
Having used Dr. Hauschka Skin Care myself for over a decade, and having sold the line in a different venue for as many years, I am now pleased to offer Dr. Hauschka Skin Care here at Old Town Antique Lighting, in Eureka.