Prefab Prairie Coasters

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Project by EarlS posted 08-24-2019 03:23 AM 1287 views 3 times favorited 21 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"

21 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1804 posts in 2116 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

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6817 posts in 1588 days

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

Very nice coasters, Earl!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View therealSteveN's profile


7220 posts in 1580 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


1837 posts in 2063 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


3293 posts in 3263 days

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

Superlative and way beyond my skill set.

-- Art

View oldrivers's profile


2461 posts in 2572 days

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

Super!Beautiful coasters.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View jeffswildwood's profile


4834 posts in 2983 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


1444 posts in 1122 days

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

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


-- 10% off all products with code LJ10

View splintergroup's profile


4645 posts in 2228 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


16636 posts in 2144 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.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View 489tad's profile


3979 posts in 4017 days

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

Very nice work.

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

View EarlS's profile


4292 posts in 3354 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


16607 posts in 3873 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


4202 posts in 4941 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


400 posts in 2593 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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