Prefab Prairie Coasters

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Project by EarlS posted 08-24-2019 03:23 AM 510 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I really wanted to participate in this year’s Beer Swap since I sat out last year. Unfortunately, I’ve been without a shop for 6 months while we are in an apartment waiting for a new house to be built. That meant I needed to finish my swap project in February, before I packed up the shop.

I had a lot of exotic wood left from making the various mosaics over the last year and I have been wanting to make some smaller versions, so coasters were the perfect solution. I could make several different prairie style mosaics, use up my remaining exotic wood stash, and get it done before I put everything in storage.

The build was similar to other mosaics I’ve made, a lot of looking at prairie style stained glass and Frank Lloyd Wright inspired stained glass on the internet, followed by detailed CAD plans, and ultimately designs that aren’t even close to what I originally envisioned.

I did manage to get everything finished two days before the movers arrived.

That meant most of 6 agonizing months waiting for the ship date. I sent my progress picture in a month before the swap even started. I’ve been told I hold the dubious record for the earliest swap project completion.

In the end, having the project ready to ship at a minute’s notice worked out as Anthm27 (Anthony) joined the swap even though he lives in Hong Kong. He was able to give HokieKen a couple of days notice that he would be in Chicago on business. Since I live in IA, 2 day shipping to Chicago was the perfect solution. The box with his swap swag arrived one day before he did.

Hopefully, one of these times when Anthony is in Chicago on business I can meet up with him and we can tour FLW’s Oak Park Studio and have a couple Midwestern beers.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

19 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1345 posts in 1589 days

#1 posted 08-24-2019 03:35 AM

Terrific Earl, and yes I am the very very lucky recipient of these fine works of art. I dont say that lightly, the detail in these coasters is superb.
You have created an illusion where by wood looks like stained lead light glass work.
The patience and know how on producing these coasters is amazing.
Well done Earl and thank you very much.
They will be well cared for in our Home in Hong Kong.
I must ask though, if you have time I would love to know some of the more exotic species that you used in them?
Also, do you have any pics of the actual build?
We,ll definitely meet in Chicago soon.
Kind Regards

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4114 posts in 1061 days

#2 posted 08-24-2019 08:12 AM

Very nice coasters, Earl!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


3606 posts in 1053 days

#3 posted 08-24-2019 10:51 AM

Nice job Earl. I really like seeing FLW in anything. Nice wood choices, and great eye candy display.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View mikeacg's profile


1076 posts in 1536 days

#4 posted 08-24-2019 11:24 AM

Beautiful Earl! I have always been a big fan of Mr. Wright but to see his style brought into your work like the great clocks you made and now these coasters is truly humbling!
I’ll bet you are glad that you are going to have a shop again very soon! How do you channel that creativity when you can’t be out there making something?

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View AandCstyle's profile


3219 posts in 2736 days

#5 posted 08-24-2019 11:27 AM

Superlative and way beyond my skill set.

-- Art

View oldrivers's profile


1790 posts in 2046 days

#6 posted 08-24-2019 11:39 AM

Super!Beautiful coasters.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View jeffswildwood's profile


4029 posts in 2456 days

#7 posted 08-24-2019 11:55 AM

I really like the style you did on these. I remember seeing it on the box swap. You really take wood work to a new level of art work!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View RichBolduc's profile


1080 posts in 595 days

#8 posted 08-24-2019 12:01 PM

Those are bad ass. What CAD program do you use btw?


View splintergroup's profile


2825 posts in 1701 days

#9 posted 08-24-2019 01:25 PM

Incredible Earl!

I’m making some “standard” wood strip versions and it was painful enough dealing with the glue of thin (1/8”) strips. You truly have some serious patients and a mind for detail.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


10744 posts in 1617 days

#10 posted 08-24-2019 03:20 PM

I guess these are okay. It ain’t a tubafor but I guess they were good enough ;-)

Spectacular man.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View 489tad's profile


3638 posts in 3490 days

#11 posted 08-24-2019 04:57 PM

Very nice work.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View EarlS's profile


3030 posts in 2827 days

#12 posted 08-24-2019 07:46 PM

Anthony – I’ll get a list together of the woods I used for you. I thought I took a lot of pictures when I was making them, but they are hiding from me. The basic build is similar to the Mosaic blog I wrote.

Rich – I use SketchUp when I’m at home or MicroStation if I work on it over lunch at work.

Mike – I’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out details for the new house. I also painted first coat for the entire house as the painter ruptured a disk in his back. Lately, I’m figuring out the shop layout and getting some new equipment. Still, I’m ready to get back in the shop and make something.

Kenny – your tubafor end grain checkerboard coasters were pretty sweet too, especially paired with the spalted maple.

Thanks everyone for the kind words.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Ivan's profile


14918 posts in 3346 days

#13 posted 08-25-2019 06:47 AM

Those are the most beautiful coasters I’ve ever seen…very nice work indeed !!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View clieb91's profile


3663 posts in 4414 days

#14 posted 08-25-2019 10:54 AM

Earl, Really great looking coasters!


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View JimYoung's profile


329 posts in 2066 days

#15 posted 08-25-2019 01:01 PM

Love that style. FLW rocks.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

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