Table Lamps: Mission, Western, Craftsman, Stickley, F.L. Wright, Prairie, Arts & Crafts Styles

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-18-2006 03:06 PM 32568 views 34 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Description: Handmade Custom Table Lamps, Walnut, Oak, White Oak, Mission Style, Prairie Style, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hammered Copper, Mica, Stained Glass, Static Touch Lamp Controls, Base Night Light, Twin Candle Light Bulbs.

All of my inventory has been sold. To commission your own lamp, start with this page at Etsy


Please contact me at [email protected] for more information.

You can see more of my lamps at my website

Here is a list of the Arts & Crafts Projects I have posted that were part of this commission:
  1. Sectioned Entertainment Center
  2. Orchid Stand/Wine Storage
  3. End Tables
  4. Coffee Table
  5. Table Lamps
  6. Prairie Couch
  7. Morris Chairs & Ottomans

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Project Story:

Genesis 1:1-5 (NIV)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

If you like tedious joinery, complicated wiring in a tight space, and working with mixed media materials, then a lamp is a fun thing to build. The styling is roughly based on a Mission Lamp, or Prairie Lamp, or Craftsman, or Arts & Crafts, all terms that seem to be used pretty loosely these days.

The down side to building these lamps is that there are so many little pieces to accurately do the joinery in, and then gluing them all up, is a very time consuming chore. Each Lamp Base & Shade has about 75 pieces of wood in it. The Shades are made with real Mica, a dream to work with, giving a wonderful warm glow when the lights are turned on.

I didn’t like the normal light kit parts available for building my own lamps (the hoop socket style), so I found some lamps that I did like and bought them. I tore the lamps apart, saving only the UL listed components and sockets and touch dimmer circuitry box. I rewired and assembled the electric parts back together on my wood base, and the result is a very professional looking lamp, something I was proud to put my signature on.

The hammered copper artwork shown on some of the lamps is a lot of fun to do. Cut from copper sheet metal, I hammer the silhouettes into a concaved 3-D form. The walnut lamp shows a Native American Brave and Horse, another shows a Pheasant taking flight out of the deep grass. I’ve also done cowboys, deer jumping a fence, and a Flint Hills scene with a windblown tree and farmhouse. (not shown in the photos).

thanks for looking,

Photography by Trey Allen, Wichita, KS

Mark DeCou

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.

Arts and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center
Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Chuch Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

(Note: This project design, and project story are protected by Copyright 2006 by the Author, M.A.DeCou. The photos are protected by Copyright 2006 by the Photographer, Trey Allen. All rights reserved, no unauthorized use is allowed, in full, or part, without the expressed written permission of the Author, or Photographer.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

22 comments so far

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 5755 days

#1 posted 05-18-2006 10:13 PM

Wonderful lamps, Mark. I can imagine the atmosphere in the dark room with just the lamp lights turned on.. that must be very relaxing.

I like the copper artwork as well since it compliments the wooden pieces nicely.

Thanks for sharing the story.. hope you will sell those remaining four lamps soon after the Western Design Conference Show ;)

View caocian's profile


47 posts in 5669 days

#2 posted 05-25-2006 02:09 PM

Very nice! Like martin said, I’ll bet the atmosphere in a room with this lamp is perfect. Great used of the various media.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5688 days

#3 posted 05-26-2006 05:03 PM

Hey Martin & Dennis:
thanks for helping me deal with the pain I described in my description of the lamps. Your comments are encouraging. Sitting in the living room of this customer, sorrounded by more than 3000 hours of my labor, lit only by the soft orange glow of two of my table lamps is a nice feeling. Then, as if my trance is broken by a bucket of water, I realize that I got to get home and back to work, as another bill is due. LOL, COL.

thanks for your comforting,
Mark DeCou (P)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5683 days

#4 posted 03-09-2007 07:17 AM

Mark Very nice lamps. Dusty keeps saying that he has about 3 hours in his and yours took 60 hours. Maybe Dusty will give a training class to us.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5610 days

#5 posted 03-10-2007 01:37 AM

Yes, can glass be that much quicker to work than copper? More forgiving, certainly not.

Beautiful lamps just the same.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 5439 days

#6 posted 03-10-2007 01:42 AM

The lamps I build are very simple compared to Marks.

Mine are set up for production. That is, I made a jig so I could build a lot of them at once.

Marks are each a piece of Art.

Mine are merely a pieces of wood, assembled to function as a lamp.

The lamp that takes me about 3hours to rough out is small lamp. What I didn’t tell you is it took me two weeks to figured out the compound angles and jigs. The larger lamp took a lot longer to build if you recall.

-- Dusty

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5380 days

#7 posted 04-08-2007 05:52 AM

These are really outstanding.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5688 days

#8 posted 05-08-2007 07:30 PM

Hey Karson, I missed this question back in March for some reason:

I don’t know why there is such a large time difference between my lamps and Dusty’s. I have several hours in just wiring up the lamp. I put a touch dimmer, and a small switch in the base, a night light in the bottom section, and two lights under the shade. Fitting my big XL hands inside the base is a real chore. Also, wiring it so that the wiring doesn’t show in the base with the night light on takes some time and care. The next time I do lamps, I will make a removable top, or split the base into two pieces so I can do the wiring and mica installation.

The copper silouettes take about 5-6 hours per shade to do the artwork, cut out the shape, file and sand the edge and surface, and then hammer into a textured 3-d shape.

Cutting and inserting the Mica, using silicone to glue it in place took some time, maybe 2 hours per lamp.

The frame of the shade is pretty complicated with the angles, and cutting out all of the little pieces, gluing them together, doing the small rabbet that holds the mica sheets, making the pyramid top with heat vent holes, and such all took me awhile. On the lamps where I used the small lap joint slats on the side of the base is a time consuming thing to cut and fit together.

Dusty’s work is top notch, so I know the difference has nothing to do with quality. Most likely, the reason is that I just work slow. Even when I try to work fast, or cut some corners, I just can’t seem to do it. It is a blessing and a curse in the work I do.

What I continue to learn at shows is that my work is too high priced, and too detailed for most people’s needs. People seem to respect my work, but don’t have the cash to spend what it takes me to do it. I need to decide which direction to go with my work; either to continue looking for a market for my detailed, time consuming work, or develop a line of work that I can do faster and sell at a lower price. I can’t see that I can do both. I can’t do the detail fast, and I can’t cut the labor costs without outsourcing to lower priced labor. It’s a challenge for sure to figure out what to do. I have for several years looked for a niche of customers where I could sell my best, most creative, most detailed work, which is what I want to spend my time on.

I wish I could do these lamps in 3 hours each, I could sell a lot of these lamps then. They show well wherever I have shown them, but the price seems to quiet most people that are interested. I showed them at the Western Design Conference in 2006, and another guy there showing lamps was sort of upset that I didn’t sell them for more money. He said that he sells his lamps for $1500 each, and that at the price I was selling mine, I was under selling them. I told him that I needed the money badly, and just wanted to sell them. I did sell one of the three I had at that show, to a nice family in Pennsylvania. The other two came home with me.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View fred's profile


256 posts in 5381 days

#9 posted 05-08-2007 11:19 PM


The lamps are absolutely beautiful. I bet one would look great on a Thorsen Side Table.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5688 days

#10 posted 05-09-2007 12:52 AM

Thanks Fred:

Thanks, I agree with you, they would look good on a Thorsen Table. It could be said that they even look good on a “DeCou Side Table”. ha!

This is the End Table in it’s home environment, that I have posted as project:

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 5360 days

#11 posted 05-09-2007 06:10 AM

Where’s the Big Screen? I don’t care what Karson says I think you did a great job Mark.
(Just kidding Karson) And yes Mark, you did do a great job on this lamp. The shade is awsome. Great Woodworking art!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5688 days

#12 posted 05-27-2007 07:12 AM

PanamaJack: It is funny you mention the “big screen.”

This customer has a projection t.v., and the 8’ wide screen is directly the right of the Morris Chair on the right side of the photo. Makes watching videos like sitting at a theatre, only more comfortable!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5683 days

#13 posted 05-28-2007 02:23 AM

Hay Panamajack:

I wasn’t giving Mark a hard time, I was just asking Dusty to give us a training class on making lamps.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5319 days

#14 posted 05-28-2007 03:03 AM

I’m glad this project came back around in Pulse or I’d have missed it. That’s just great!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5277 days

#15 posted 07-02-2007 03:50 AM

Beautiful lamps Mark. I just love the Mission style.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics