McCullough-Price House Light Fixtures

Part 1

The McCullough-price House is a 1930’s Pueblo-style house built for the Price family.  The Price’s were a prominent family in East Valley history.  Left unattended for years, the City of Chandler allocated $800,000 in renovation capital to restore the home and build a Visitors Center for the City of Chandler, Arizona.

The City of Chander contacted Della Terra Studios (formally Innovational Iron) to re-create light fixtures hand-drawn in the original blueprints researchers discovered in the city archives.  

If you are curious about the history of this house, you can click on the image to the right. 

Entrance Lighting Construction

Historic Blueprint

Before I start with the creation of the entrance lights, how cool are these blueprints? It’s hard to imagine there was a time when architects sketched out light fixtures to have artisans create.  There may be a sketch on a blueprint, but there were certainly no blueprints to follow.  And like most of the things we do, it’s time to make this up as we go along.


 I always like to build up my components in advance.  Here you can see the twisted sides with forged leaves and the two forged mounting plates. 


I created this template on my computer and tested it out with cardstock in advance.  It’s always easier to cut paper than metal. 


The template is traced onto sheet metal and cut with a Beverly Shear. 


The pieces are clamped together and sanded, so they are even.  This is very important to ensure a proper fit. 


Parts are set in place, and tack welded together for accuracy.


After tack welding, the concave shape is hammered with a plastic mallet and shot bag.

After being fully welded, the welds and hammer marks are smoothed out with an English Wheel.


Completed domes are set aside until they are needed.


Next, I’m twisting the side elements with a modified wrench.  The stock is small enough to do this cold. 

The top elements are formed and welded into place.


Since this shape is hexagonal, I flattened some angle iron with my Flypress to expedite the fabrication of the sides. 


Sides are tack welded in place to form the sides of the lamps.


The base of the fixture is shown here, with the edges dimpled with a P6 Flypress.


Some of the forged elements from the first posts are now able to be assembled in place.  The look is finally coming together!


Next, these aesthetic details were in the drawing, and I wanted to make the fixtures as true as possible to the blueprints. My P6 Flypress makes cold forging details like this easy. 


The side pieces were cold forged before welding.

The cold-forged decorative sides are welded into place.


The design called for rosettes, so I cold-forged them with my Flypress from thin wafers cut from solid stock with a bandsaw. 


Steel rivets and a center punch make a nice-looking flower stamen. 

Here is a shot of the rosettes riveted in place.  You can also see the “vents” called for in the drawing.  These vents are for aesthetics only.  


Forged mounting and supports are ready to accept the lamp fixtures.  


Finally! It always feels good to get to this point.


A close shot of the mounted light fixture.  They are now ready for patina!


An M20 and Ferric Nitrate patina is applied before installing the glass.  I sealed the patina with a UV-resistant clear coat. 


Glass strips are cut to size.


Finally, artisan glass is cut to size and attached with silicon. They are now ready for install! 


Matt Weber
Latest posts by Matt Weber (see all)